04. 12. 2008 - Czech Airlines is Preparing New Routes for its Summer Flight Schedule

Prague, 4 December 2008

Czech Airlines is preliminarily planning to introduce new connections to Central Asia with its summer flight schedule.  With the local authorities and its partner airlines, the Airline is presently discussing the possibility of introducing new flights.  In addition to two brand-new destinations in the Czech Airlines network, service on a number of existing routes would be bolstered and departure times would improve, such as to allow passengers to make better use of connecting flights from Prague.  The preliminary draft summer flight schedule will be subject to numerous discussions inside the company and externally.  The planned modifications of the summer flight schedule can also change in response to current customer demand.

Planned New Routes
The Central Asian region has a great potential, in terms of a well-paying clientele, which Czech Airlines has seen in the success of its Almaty route opened this year.  In addition to the great demand, Czech Airlines also has a very good name in the region.  Hence, it is negotiating about launching flights to two brand new destinations in the region.  The Airline would like to offer both flights twice a week, employing Airbus A319 aircraft.

With the summer flight schedule, flights to Moscow will also see a boost, to four flights from the Czech Republic to Moscow.  Czech Airlines also wants to increase its service to St. Petersburg.  Its traditional night-time flights to Beirut will be supplemented in the high season with two daytime services.  The new night-time flights to Hamburg and Stuttgart, introduced in the winter season, will be retained.  Also, the successful summer service to Heraklion, introduced this year, will continue.  In addition, service to Almaty, Cairo, Minsk, Damascus, Skopje, Istanbul, Yerevan, and Tbilisi should be bolstered.

The flight to Manchester will be newly operated in a more attractive time, with an evening departure from Prague and a morning return from Manchester.  This will be enabled by the capacity released following the reduction of flights to Dublin. Czech Airlines will, however, maintain a presence in the market.  Service reduced to the minimum will be maintained between Ireland and the Czech Republic, at a time suitable for Czech clients, i.e., departing from Prague on Friday and returning on Sunday.

The last flights presently offered on business days will be operated on 13 January from Prague, and 14 January from Dublin. With the shift of flights to Manchester to the more attractive morning time, capacity from the noon flight to Manchester will be freed up, which Czech Airlines will use for introducing a third daily flight to Copenhagen.

The Flight Schedule Preparation Process
In essence, the preparation of a flight schedule is a continuous process.  Czech Airlines employs a Lufthansa Systems planning system for planning routes, placing them into the flight schedule, and achieving ideal connections.  For each flight schedule, a comprehensive proposal must be available about six months before it enters into force, and discussions must be launched with operating units both outside of the Airline and within, which assess the feasibility of the new proposal.  Then, with it in hand, about five months before the effective date, the employees of the Flight Schedule Department attend an IATA slot conference, where they try to obtain the required slots from individual airports, i.e., the times for the arrival and departure of

an aircraft.  The times obtained are then processed again by the system and discussed with operating units.  Approximately two months before the summer flight schedule enters into force, a proposal should be available that will then be approved by the Management Board.

Daniela Hupáková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson