03. 03. 2009 - The Number of Czech Airlines’ Passengers Was Up by 2.4% Last Year

Prague, 3 March 2009

The number of Czech Airlines’ passengers grew by 2.4 percent last year, to more than 5.6 million.  The growth for the year as a whole was slower than the year before, which is due to the impact of the global economic recession in the last quarter of the year, which became evident in reduced travel, primarily by clients from Western Europe.  In the last three months of the year, the Airline consequently noted a drop in passenger numbers.  Another drop in the number of passengers due to the present economic situation can be expected this year.

Scheduled Carriage
Scheduled carriage is the main line of the airline’s business and accounts for more than 70 percent of its revenue.  On scheduled flights, Czech Airlines carried 4.8 million passengers, which is a year-on-year increase of 1.8 percent.  Scheduled carriage was hit the hardest by the economic recession.  “Whereas in the first three quarters, carriage grew by 4.9 percent (and in some months of the main summer season even by more than ten percent), in September, the decline began to be felt, which further deepened as the year went on,” said Czech Airlines´ Vicepresident for Sales Petr Řehák. “In September 2008 the number of passengers of Czech Airlines was by 0, 7% lower, in comparision with the previous year, in Novemeber the downtrend reached 4.3% and in Decemberit deepened to further 7.4%. Due to the persisting worldwide economic crisis, further recesion is to be expected this year as well”.

The most sought-after destinations in our scheduled network:

  • Paris, France
  • Moscow, Russia   
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Madrid, Spain
  • London, United Kingdom

Charter Carriage
Passenger carriage on Czech Airlines’ charter flights noted an increase of 6.1 percent last year, to nearly 846,000 passengers, in spite of the fact that one of Czech Airlines’ largest aircraft was rented to India all year.  In addition to flights for Czech travel agencies to traditional tourist destinations, Czech Airlines charter flights are commissioned by foreign travel agencies, supranational companies, and sports teams. 
The most sought-after Charter destinations:

  • Hurghada, Egypt
  • Antalya, Turkey
  • Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
  • Heraklion, Crete, Greece
  • Burgas, Bulgaria
  • Taba, Egypt
  • Thessalonica, Greece

ACMI Aircraft Lease
The carriage results do not include passengers carried as a part of so-called ACMI leases, i.e., the leasing of aircraft from Czech Airlines’ fleet to other carriers, including the crew, maintenance, and insurance.  This activity, which Czech Airlines has successfully developed in recent years, brings annual revenue in the order of hundreds of million of crowns.  The most significant ACMI lease last year was the year-long rental of the largest aircraft in our fleet, an Airbus A310 for 209 passengers, to India.  But Czech Airlines aircraft also flew in Europe, for airlines such as Adria Airways, Jet Airways, and SAS.

Carriage of Cargo and Post
Last year, Czech Airlines aircraft carried over 20,000 tonnes of goods and post.  In cargo carriage, which is thought of as a “barometer” of the economic situation, the impact of the global recession became evident in the middle of last year.  The drop in the second half of the year was so dramatic that even the positive developments of the first half of the year were not sufficient to balance it out, and overall, cargo carriage thus dropped by 10.5 percent last year.

On-time Record
Czech Airlines pays utmost attention to the quality of the services it offers.  One of the main criteria that are especially appreciated by business passengers is the on-time record of its operations.  Czech Airlines has ranked on a sustained basis at the top of the European ranking that is regularly published by the Association of European Airlines.  For 2008, Czech Airlines ranked 2nd among 27 leading European airlines, in terms of the on-time record of all of its international departures. 

Daniela Hupáková

Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson