20. 05. 2008 - Czech Airlines Passenger Count for the First Four Months of the Year Climbs Close to 1.6 million

Prague, May 20, 2008

For the first four months of 2008, Czech Airlines carried almost 1.6 million passengers – a number representing an annual increase of 2.7 percent. The airline's passenger count has therefore shown growth even during the traditionally weak secondary season. Also, the number of passengers traveling in business class is continuing to grow, which is having a positive impact on the company's bottom line. In total, Czech Airlines completed 12,560 flights in the first four months of the year. During the same period, besides passengers, the airline's fleet carried nearly 6,900 tons of freight and mail.  

Nearly 1.4 million passengers traveled on regularly scheduled flights of Czech Airlines during the first months of the year, which represented an increase of close to two percent. The airline's regular passenger service is the largest contributor to the airline's total revenue base – representing close to a 90% share. "We are starting to see the results of our new business model under which the company is focusing on growth in its highest traffic routes," said Petr Pištělák, the airline's Vice-President for Marketing and Product Development. During this year's first four months, such high traffic routes included Czech Airlines' connections to Moscow, Madrid, Amsterdam and Brussels. Last year the airline substantially increased its number of flights to these destinations. "The Click4Sky.com. project has also produced positive results in terms of our passenger volumes. The project was launched by Czech Airlines last September in an attempt to attract a new passenger segment that prefers a lower ticket price to flexibility and the availability of other services," added Petr Pištělák.

From the beginning of January through the end of April, more than 175,000 passengers took advantage of Czech Airlines charter services. This number represents an 11 percent increase over the same period last year. Czech Airlines markets its charter services to travel agents in the Czech Republic and it offered traditional winter season flights to exotic destinations in the Caribbean such as Varadero in Cuba, La Romana in the Dominican Republic and the island of La Isla Margarita.

Service Regularity
Again in the first quarter of 2008, Czech Airlines came out on top in the rankings of 27 European air carriers that are members of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) in terms of the regularity of its flights' departures. Czech Airlines was therefore able to defend its ranking as the European leader in on-time departures. The airline ended up at the top in this category for the first time in history as part of the AEA's 2007 annual rankings. Service regularity is of course one of the primary criteria of interest to passengers. This is especially true when it comes to those traveling on business – on-time departures are one of their key deciding factors in the selection of an airline.

For the year as a whole, 2007 saw Czech Airlines carry a total of approximately 5.6 million passengers. With a comparably sized fleet, this number increased by 2.7 percent on a year-to-year basis. In 2006, Czech Airlines carried 5.4 million passengers using the same number of aircraft. In 2005, this number was 5.2 million. In the first quarter of 2008, the airline served a total of 1.1 million passengers, which represents an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent.

Daniela Hupáková
Communications Director
Czech Airlines Press Spokesperson