Airlines often change their minds about their fleet plans, but the case of Braathens Regional Airways (BRA) is quite curious. The Swedish company confirmed this week that it had given up buying 10 A220-100 jets after its order disappeared from Airbus’s order list. Instead, BRA has stated that it has entered into a wet lease agreement of five E190s belonging to the German company WDL.
The reasons given by Braathens draw attention. In response to the Flight Global, the company explained that the order was canceled more than a year ago when it found that the aviation market in Sweden and its currency had fallen. In addition, rising fuel prices and higher taxes have sealed the fate of Airbus aircraft despite their proven efficiency.
To culminate with the decision to cancel the A220 order, the airline also pointed to the negative effect of air travel as a polluter, a heated debate in Sweden, the birthplace of Greta Thunberg, the young environmental activist who has frequently occupied the headlines. press in recent months.
For this reason, BRA preferred to focus on its ATR 72 turboprop fleet, which has 14 units and is about to receive four more -600 aircraft. The company is also about to retire the British Avro RJ jet this quarter, which will be replaced by Embraer aircraft on longer routes. Braathens also wet-leases the Fokker 50 turboprop.
Braathens Regional Airways was founded in 1976 as Golden Air, but only started operating in commercial aviation in 1993. In 2012, it was acquired by the Norwegian group Braathens Aviation, which joined it with Sverigeflyg and Malmö Aviation in 2016, forming the current company. It was Malmö, by the way, the original CSeries customer after an order placed in 2011 for five CS100 jets and five larger CS300 jets.
Until 2014, Malmö was considered Bombardier’s jet launch customer, but chose to leave the privilege in favor of the Swiss airline, which turned out to be the first company to fly the plane. In 2018, after Airbus took over the program, its order was changed to ten A220-100 units, the smallest version.