What Happened To Air Slovakia?
Air Slovakia was a small scheduled and charter airline based in Bratislava, the capital city of the country…
Air Slovakia was a small scheduled and charter airline based in Bratislava, the capital city of the country after which the carrier was named. The carrier flew various narrowbodies to an interesting range of European and Asian destinations. With Air Slovakia now no longer being a fixture in European aviation, let’s take a look at what happened to it.
In the beginning
Air Slovakia began life under the name Air Terrex. This carrier was founded in June 1993, and it operated its first flight (Bratislava-Tel Aviv) the following January. 1995 saw it take on the name of Air Slovakia. This came about as a result of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
Otherwise known as the ‘Velvet Divorce,’ this split saw the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic become two separate nation-states. These were, of course, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In the airline’s earlier years, Air Terrex/Air Slovakia operated Boeing 727 and Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft. Data from ATDB.aero shows that it flew two 727s and one Tu-154.
Stay informed: for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
What aircraft did Air Slovakia fly?
Having spent its early years operating rear-engined trijets, Air Slovakia opted for a change of emphasis when it came to fleet strategy at the end of the 1990s. Indeed, 1999 saw the first of five Boeing 737-200 twinjets (plus one cargo example) come onboard. One of these, registered as OM-BWJ, joined Air Slovakia from Croatia Airlines.
After the turn of the century, Air Slovakia started taking on bigger aircraft. For example, ATDB.aero notes that it briefly leased its only widebody, a Boeing 767-300ER, from Air Holland in the early 2000s. ATDB also lists six 757-200s as having flown for Air Slovakia.
These were particularly important after a change of ownership saw the airline begin to concentrate more on Indian and Bangladeshi destinations after 2006. Additionally, these larger aircraft flew charters to the likes of the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
In terms of newer narrowbodies, five Boeing 737-300s also graced the Air Slovakia fleet. The first of these came onboard in 2007. The final three were all ex-KLM aircraft, and joined in 2008. Additionally, 2007 also saw Lotus Air lease a single Airbus A320 to the carrier.
The end of the line
Despite the excitement of larger aircraft and exotic destinations in the Air Slovakia portfolio, the airline soon ran out of steam. March 2010 saw the Slovakian authorities elect to revoke the carrier’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). At this time, the airline was said to be experiencing financial difficulties, and its aircraft were 22.9 years old on average.
The revoked AOC prompted Air Slovakia to cease its operations. However, it wasn’t officially dissolved until three months later, in June 2010. Several of its aircraft were scrapped, although ch-aviation.com reports that a 757 registered as OM-ASG did join Mint Airways. Meanwhile, a 737 (OM-ASE) has been preserved as a crew trainer in Ostrava.
What are your memories of Air Slovakia? Did you ever fly with the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!