Dominant new-look Czech Airlines bucks trend: starts six new routes this summer

Image: Czech executives - Petr Pistelak, Jan Kase and Daniela Hupakova
Czech Airlines has launched several new routes from Prague, including Strasbourg (nine times weekly since 31 March), Tbilisi (thrice weekly since 24 April), Rostov-On-Don (weekly since 24 April), Damascus (thrice-weekly since 30 April), Almaty (twice-weekly since 1 May) and Heraklion (twice weekly since 30 May). Pictured at a press conference to announce the new routes are: Petr Pištělák, Czech Airlines vice president for marketing and product development; Jan Kaše, executive director for marketing, and Daniela Hupáková, Czech Airlines spokesperson.

Traffic at Prague airport almost doubled from 6.3 million passengers in 2003 to 12.44 million in 2007. The national carrier, CSA Czech Airlines, has managed to maintain its leading position at the airport with its mixed fleet of some 50 Airbus’, ATRs and Boeings. In 2007 the airline carried around 5.6 million passengers, of which around 4.7 million flew on the airline’s scheduled services.

Chart: Czech Airline seasonality
Source: AEA

Logo: Czech Airline and Prague Airport

Last year monthly scheduled load factors peaked at 74% in August and fell below 60% only in January and February. After a slow start to the year scheduled passenger numbers in the first six months of 2008 are up a healthy 5.4% to 2.3 million. A further 330,000 passengers flew on charter flights to exotic destinations such as Varadero in Cuba and destinations in the Dominican Republic. Traffic figures from Prague airport show that passenger numbers in the first half of the year are up 6.3% to 5.93 million.

Czech Airlines is the dominant airline at Prague airport with around 52% of scheduled flights and 48% of scheduled capacity.

Airline Weekly departures Weekly seats Number of routes
Czech Airlines 792 84,614 69
SkyEurope 118 17,582 26
easyJet 67 10,375 8
Lufthansa 88 8,642 4
Smartwings 45 7,589 18
Source: OAG Max Online for August 2008

It also offers more than twice as many destinations as its nearest rival SkyEurope including long-haul flights to Toronto (thrice-weekly) and New York JFK (daily). Its next longest routes are to Almaty in Kazakhstan and Kuwait.

Intense competition on route to Copenhagen

Image: Daniella Hupovic
Spokesperson Daniela Daniela Hupáková gives us all a closer look of that new livery in CSA News.

Czech Airlines operates 31 monopoly routes from Prague including three domestic routes to Brno, Karlovy Vary and Ostrava. These 31 routes represent around 40% of all flights and just over 30% of all capacity. On 27 other routes, representing around 40% of flights, the airline faces competition from one other carrier, while on 10 major European routes (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Madrid, Milan MXP, Paris CDG, Rome FCO, Sofia and Thessaloniki) the airline faces two competitors head-to-head.

On just one route, Copenhagen, Czech Airlines faces direct competition from three other airlines. While Czech Airlines operates 16 weekly flights to the Danish capital, SkyEurope operates five weekly flights, Sterling three and SAS seven weekly flights.

New routes focus on Eastern Europe

Chart: Czech airlines at Prague
Source: Derived from OAG Max Online for w/c 11 August 2008

Czech Airlines operates 31 monopoly routes from Prague including three domestic routes to Brno, Karlovy Vary and Ostrava. These 31 routes represent around 40% of all flights and just over 30% of all capacity. On 27 other routes, representing around 40% of flights, the airline faces competition from one other carrier, while on 10 major European routes (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Madrid, Milan MXP, Paris CDG, Rome FCO, Sofia and Thessaloniki) the airline faces two competitors head-to-head.

On just one route, Copenhagen, Czech Airlines faces direct competition from three other airlines. While Czech Airlines operates 16 weekly flights to the Danish capital, SkyEurope operates five weekly flights, Sterling three and SAS seven weekly flights.

New routes focus on Eastern Europe

During the last 12 months Czech Airlines has started new routes between Prague and Strasbourg (nine times weekly since 31 March), Tbilisi (thrice weekly since 24 April), Rostov-On-Don (weekly since 24 April), Damascus (thrice-weekly since 30 April), Almaty (twice-weekly since 1 May) and Heraklion (twice weekly since 30 May). Unlike many carriers the airline has not so far made any major announcements about reducing capacity or routes for the winter season.

Map: Routes from Prague


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