Bratislava has a new mate in Czech Airlines; six new routes to major airports including Amsterdam to start in June
Since the demise of SkyEurope in September 2009, Slovakia has lacked a flag carrier or an airline of any significance that has based aircraft at the airport. Although Ryanair is by far the biggest carrier at the airport with a network of over a dozen routes, it does not base any aircraft at the airport. Now Czech Airlines has announced plans to base a 737-500 at the Slovakian capital from the end of June and launch six new routes. Last year, passenger numbers at Bratislava Airport fell by 2.6% to 1.67 million passengers.
Serving major airports across Europe
The single aircraft will operate 21 weekly departures across six European cities from 23 June. Amsterdam and Larnaca are not served by any other carrier, while the airline will serve the main airports in Barcelona (El Prat), Brussels (National), Paris (CDG) and Rome (Fiumicino). Ryanair serves all these cities, but operates to Girona, Charleroi, Beauvais and Ciampino airports instead.
Notably, three of the six new routes are to SkyTeam hubs, meaning that Czech Airlines’ passengers can feed onto services at KLM’s Amsterdam hub, Air France’s Paris CDG hub and Alitalia’s Rome Fiumicino hub.
What the airline said
“Our decision to start operating direct flights from Slovakia’s metropolis was governed by the most frequent routings of passengers on Czech Airlines’ transfer flights from Bratislava via Prague on to the airline’s network. Another factor is that Bratislava airport has no direct connection to the main airports in Brussels, Barcelona, and Paris, and that there is absolutely no connection to Amsterdam and the popular Larnaca. The Slovak market offers interesting potential in this regard. Now, Czech Airlines will offer passengers from Slovakia comfortable direct flights to the most sought-after European destinations,” explains Jiří Marek, Czech Airlines VP Sales and Marketing.
What the airport said
Tomáš Kika, Director of the Sales and Marketing Division of Bratislava Airport adds: “This is good solid news, not only for Slovak passengers, but also for passengers from the nearby areas of neighbouring countries. The expansion of Bratislava Airport’s offer by the initial 21 direct flights a week to 6 destinations will significantly broaden and improve the quality of the portfolio of services for all passengers, including those travelling on business. Connections to key transfer hubs, such as Amsterdam, Paris and Rome, open up the possibility of travelling from Bratislava Airport to literally the entire world.”