19. 01. 2012 - The Backbone of the Czech Airlines Network Will Run Between Russia and the West

In 2012, Czech Airlines will complete the implementation of its carriage network model – its backbone will comprise flights between Russia and Western Europe.

Prague, 19 January 2012

The bolstering of flights to Eastern destinations, in particular to Russia and other key markets in the region, will result in the completion of a logical transportation bridge between the East and the West.  That is the main concept of the Czech Airlines backbone network that the Airline plans to complete this year.

In the West, the foundation will be the six strongest destinations and their natural linking to the East.  This basis of the network accounts for 48% of the airline’s revenue from scheduled carriage on the local and transfer markets.  In the East, aircraft will head to and from 16 key destinations.  This network will be supplemented with regional flights of not more than one-and-a-half hours in duration, and, naturally, selected point-to-point carriage destinations, such as the service to Tel Aviv and Brussels.  The offer will be supplemented with long-haul flights via Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with Etihad Airways, and destinations offered in association with other partners.

Overall, Czech Airlines will operate flights on its own to 48 destinations in 31 countries in the 2012 summer season, which represents an average of 432 return flights per week.  Thanks to its cooperation with partners, the overall offer will be far more extensive, featuring more than 98 destinations in 50 countries.

Czech Airlines plans to incorporate Russian destinations such as Ufa and Nizhny Novgorod in its flight schedule, and boost its service to Moscow, Baku, Tashkent, Almaty, and Lvov.  One of the new destinations in Western Europe will be, for example, Geneva, and certain seasonal destinations are being considered.  Due to the unstable geo-political developments in the Near East, the Beirut service will be suspended.  Due to a significant decline in demand on local markets, the 2012 summer offer will not feature Larnaca, Oslo, Skopje, and Athens.  Certain other flights, such as Helsinki, will continue to be operated on a code-share basis, and will remain in the Czech Airlines flight schedule with their original frequencies and usual departure and arrival times.  Nothing will change with respect to these destinations, from the customer’s point of view.

2011 carriage results: more passengers on local markets
The number of passengers carried by Czech Airlines in 2011 reflected the ongoing restructuring, the consolidation of the carriage network, and developments in the business.  The Airline became smaller, as planned, but functioned all the more efficiently for it, including the utilisation of its aircraft fleet, which improved by 5%, year on year.  This is evidenced by the fact that although, in the aggregate, Czech Airlines operated 17.4% fewer flights, the overall number of passengers carried only dropped by 7.5%.  Czech Airlines carried more than 8% more customers to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on a year-on-year basis, and also noted a balanced number of passengers in relation to destinations in Western Europe.  On local markets, Czech Airlines carried more than 9% more passengers.  The share of transfer passengers dropped to 54% last year.  Overall, Czech Airlines carried 4,251,736 passengers in 2011.

Thanks to the restructuring plan and the gradual transformation of our carriage network, we are successfully increasing the seat load factor.  Gradually, it is nearing the AEA average, although the trend slowed down slightly in 2011,” said Czech Airlines’ President, Philippe Moreels.

Czech Airlines noted a clear increase in passenger numbers on its flights to and from destinations in Russia and other post-Soviet countries (+8.4%).  There was demand particularly for flights to Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, and Rome, to which the greatest number of transfer passengers were from the CIS.  They accounted for 42% of all transfers on flights operated by Czech Airlines aircraft between the East and the West.  Nearly 20% of all of Czech Airlines’ passengers travelled on flights to Russia and other destinations in the region last year.


Hana Hejsková
Press Spokesperson
Czech Airlines