|Before you ask, we were sent this great photo directly by DanubeWings PR. Despite the CSA-branded 737-400 wet lease deal, DanubeWings also says it is analysing possible routes to Paris CDG, Athens, Thessaloniki, Sofia, and Bucharest. Photo: DanubeWings.|
Slovakian regional carrier Danube Wings began scheduled services at the end of March 2009 with a fleet of two 70-seat ATR 72s which has now grown to three. The airline belongs to VIP Wings a private aviation company based in Bratislava. During the summer the airline has operated a mix of scheduled and charter services from three airports in Slovakia; Bratislava, Košice and Poprad-Tatry.
Initial focus on domestic flights
Initially the airline focussed on domestic flights linking Bratislava with Kosice (twice-daily) and Poprad-Tatry (daily). The first international services were to Basel (from Bratislava) and Bologna (from Bratislava and Poprad-Tatry).
During the peak summer season the airline also operated a number of seasonal routes to Croatia, serving Split from Bratislava and Kosice, Zadar from Bratislava and Rijeka from Košice.
|One of DanubeWings’ three 70-seat ATR 72s. Domestic routes in Slovakia keep the aircraft busy, but this winter sees the addition of new services to Bergamo, Brussels and Warsaw. Photo: DanubeWings.|
Bergamo, Brussels and Warsaw added for winter
This winter the airline intends to add new services from Bratislava to Brussels and Warsaw, from Košice to Milan Bergamo, and from Poprad-Tatry to both Basel and Warsaw.
Although Kiev appears on the airline’s route map (connected to Poprad-Tatry) there appears to be no reference to it in the on-line booking tool or the airline’s on-line timetable. All of these new routes will be operated by the airline’s existing fleet of ATR 72s.
Deal to operate under ČSA brand
In a move directly related to the demise of SkyEurope, ČSA and Danube Wings have jointly announced that Czech Airlines will wet lease a 737-400 to Danube Wings for “operating several scheduled flights” under the Czech Airlines brand on new scheduled routes: “Especially to London, Dublin and Manchester.”
Commenting on the partnership Arpad Agócs, commercial director of Danube Wings explained: “At this stage we are opening the missing (SkyEurope) connections. Danube Wings does not alter its strategy and philosophy, at all. We are a regional air carrier whose basic fleet is represented by the ATRs. However, we want to devote capacity for covering the essential missing flights with a serious partner like Czech Airlines.”
The airports concerned are equally happy: “The renewal of the traditional connection with Manchester, at such short time after SkyEurope shut down, is a really positive development” said Zdeněk Schraml, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bratislava Airport.
Ivana Herkeľová, executive director of Poprad-Tatry Airport, is similarly cheered by the news of the renewed London-Luton links: “Over the past four years passengers have become very accustomed to a regular London connection so I am very pleased DanubeWings has been able to renew this. Together with other international flights they offer a very promising future for the development of our airport and region.”
|New air services in cooperation with ČSA from Dec. 1st 2009:|
|3 times weekly||Poprad-Tatry – London Luton|
|1 to 2 times weekly||Poprad-Tatry – Dublin|
|2 times weekly||Poprad-Tatry – Manchester|
|2 times weekly||Bratislava – Manchester|