27. 08. 2010 - Restructuring Continues – Unprofitable Routes to Be Cut from the Czech Airlines Flight Schedule, Another to Be Boosted
Prague, 30 August 2010
The Czech Airlines 2010/2011 winter flight schedule will reflect the first changes in the carriage network model that the Airline has made known since May 2010. With its new concept, Czech Airlines will discontinue operations to certain destinations that are not profitable for it. On the other hand, it will boost the most sought-after services, modify the number of flights at less-used times, and change selected flights to seasonal operation. The offer of Czech Airlines connections remains very extensive, as does its in-flight service, which the Airline enhanced in the spring. In the winter, Czech Airlines will offer scheduled flights to 100 destinations in 44 countries around the world, of which flights to 56 destinations in 37 countries will be offered as a part of its own network. The new winter flight schedule will apply from 31 October 2010 through 26 March 2011.
“As we have already announced several times before, the new Czech Airlines flight schedule for the winter season reflects the next stage on the path to creating a more flexible, efficient airline. Unlike previous approaches to restructuring, which were based primarily on cost cuts, the main point of the strategy now is a new carriage network concept. It involves well thought through and calculated changes, where the least profitable flights are cut, but revenue per so-called passenger mile and overall efficiency will increase,” said Philippe Moreels, Czech Airlines Vice President for Sales, Marketing and Finance, adding: “Although we are talking about reductions in connection with the new flight schedule, we are also intensively looking into and calculating the options of flying to a number of new destinations. I firmly trust that their time will come next year and the year after next.”
A New Carriage Network Model
The new model of the Czech Airlines carriage network departs from the former focus on operating the highest possible number of destinations throughout Europe, but it will focus more on creating a regular air bridge between East and West, with an emphasis on the provision of traditional services. It will take shape gradually, until it reaches its final form in 2012.
As of the upcoming winter season, the new concept and scheme of the Czech Airlines’ carriage network does not count on scheduled service to regional destinations such as Brno, Munich, and Cologne/Bonn, or on a presence on the UK market, i.e., the operation of flights to London and Manchester.
More Vacation Destinations
The carriage network model includes a concept of vacation destinations. Marseille, Thessaloniki, and Venice, which passengers use primarily in the warmer months of the year, are now changing to so-called seasonal destinations, joining Sprit, Dubrovnik, and Heraklion, which are also normally operated only during the summer season.
More Practical Departure Times
The new carriage network model is also introducing other changes aimed at increasing the efficiency of the network. One of these involves shifting selected departures to more attractive times, such as the morning flights to and from Hamburg, Bologna, and Cracow, and also
a change of the afternoon flights to Brussels and Zurich to overnight flights, which better suit both point-to-point and transfer passengers. In the case of Brussels and Zurich, Czech Airlines will offer new and more attractive departure times from Prague.
Starting with the 2010/2011 winter season, Czech Airlines is increasing the number of flights on the Belgrade route, as well as to Brussels, Paris, Athens, Beirut, and St. Petersburg. On the other hand, there will be a partial reduction in the number of flights on the Ostrava, Bratislava, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Zurich, Bologna, Vilnius, Oslo, and Copenhagen routes. On certain routes, such as the Hamburg route, Czech Airlines will replace the ATR turbo-propeller aircraft with higher-capacity jet aircraft. The seat capacity offered on the route will therefore remain unchanged, although one frequency will be cut on the route. Each flight on the route will be a full 20 minutes shorter due to the change in aircraft type.
Refreshments on Board Czech Airlines
With the start of the 2010 summer flight schedule, changes were made to the refreshments on board Czech Airlines aircraft, both in Business and in Economy Class. For more than half a year, passengers have thus had a greater choice of free beverages, including beer and wine, and the meals served have been of a higher quality. The weight of the meals has been increased as has the amount of vegetables, and the selection of meats has expanded. Miniature bottles of alcohol and small snacks from supplementary sales continue to be offered through SkyShop. Meals will be served on newly designed tableware, which is light and therefore easier to handle, both for passengers and in-flight staff.
The OK Plus Frequent Flyer Programme is Popular
A significant number of Czech Airlines passengers make use of the advantages offered by the OK Plus Frequent Flyer Programme. It has acquired nearly 50,000 new members since the start of this year alone. Recently, Czech Airlines welcomed the half-millionth member of the OK Plus Frequent Flyer Programme. As a special gift, it prepared an OK Plus Gold Card for him and a credit of 30,000 miles in his account.
The highest number of OK Plus Programme members comes from the Czech Republic, with passengers from the Russian Federation and Slovakia being in second and third place in terms of numbers. The top 10 also includes Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Romania, and all three Baltic states: Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.
The members of the Czech Airlines loyalty programme collect miles in their OK Plus accounts not only for flights flown with Czech Airlines, but also for flying on board any of the 12 SkyTeam alliance member airlines (with the most recent additions being Vietnam Airlines and the Romanian Tarom), and with Air Malta and China Airlines. Miles are also credited for using the services of other, non-airline partners of the frequent flyer programme (for example for car hires, accommodation in partner hotels, vacation package purchases, or for purchasing electronics, toys, and fuel, or subscribing to selected magazines). Programme members can redeem their miles by taking advantage of a number of benefits, which include vacations, hotel stays, and car hires, but also for example hot-air balloon flights, flight simulator lessons, and others. By far the most popular are reward tickets.
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson