20. 02. 2008 - Czech Airlines – the Most On-Time Airline in Europe

Prague, February 20, 2008

Czech Airlines flights are the most on-time of any airline in Europe. This is according to the Association of European Airlines (AEA), which last year ranked Czech Airlines as number one out of the 26 major airlines in the AEA in terms of its aircraft departing on schedule. The airline is particularly proud of these results which, unlike arrival statistics, airlines can have a significant degree of control over.

Czech Airlines has focused on improving the punctuality of its flights, because this is one of the parameters that passengers appreciate the most. For our business clientele in particular, our ability to adhere to our schedules is a very important factor, which they take into account when selecting an airline,” said the Vice-President for Flight Operations, Jan Janík.

Like the other airlines in the Association of European Airlines, Czech Airlines continuously monitors the on-time departure parameter (departures with a delay of less than 15 minutes), which airlines can significantly influence. A departure with a delay of less than 15 minutes is considered to have taken place as scheduled, because the times listed in flight schedules include a planned reserve of at least 15 minutes to allow for possible aircraft delays on takeoff, after landing and for other possible delays during a flight. With longer flights, any departure delays can also be overcome to a certain extent by the speed of the aircraft. In contrast to departing on time, arriving on schedule can be influenced by a number of uncontrollable factors such as weather, the route allocated to a flight by ground control and other air traffic conditions. An airline has no control over these parameters.

In recent years, Czech Airlines has succeeded in improving its punctuality ranking through a concentrated effort,” said AEA secretary general Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, commenting on the results. “Infive years, Czech Airlines has climbed from the lower end of the table right to its top,” he added.

While in 2003 Czech Airlines was ranked around twentieth in terms of flight punctuality by the AEA – according to the “departures with a delay of under 15 minutes” parameter - it had already moved up into sixth place by 2004 and 2005. In 2006, it moved up into fourth place in the ranking for the first half of the year - ending the year as a whole in second position. Czech Airlines stepped into the top position in the ranking based on first half results for 2007 and was able to maintain the position for the year as a whole.

Czech Airlines had a total of 74,400 departures from Prague and other destinations abroad last year. Currently, the airline offers flight connections to 108 destinations in 43 countries worldwide.

Our airline can still only influence the punctuality of its flights' departures to a limited extent. This is done, for example, by speeding up the turnaround time to prepare the aircraft for a subsequent flight in the event of the incoming flight being delayed. The most common reasons for departure delays are, however, overcrowded airspace, security controls at the airports and bad weather. On the other hand, technical problems as a cause of delayed departures are negligible factor with Czech Airlines' aircraft.

Daniela Hupáková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Spokesperson