30. 06. 2010 - Czech Airlines' First International Route Celebrates 80 Years
Prague, 30 June 2010
Czech Airlines has operated its oldest international route for 80 years, from Prague to the Croatian metropolis of Zagreb. The first scheduled flight was flown by the then Czechoslovak State Airline on 1 July 1930 with a Ford 5 AT-C aircraft, touching down in Brno and Bratislava. In the 1930s, the seasonal route was extended to Rijeka and Split.
The inaugural flight was flown by Pilot Albert Kocián and Mechanic Vladimír Čadský on the American Ford 5 AT-C Trimotor aircraft, with the matriculation OK-FOR, which Czechoslovak State Airlines purchased in 1929. It was a three-engine aircraft built of an all-metal structure covered with polished duralumin, with a capacity of up to 14 passengers and cruising speed of 180 km/h. The first passengers on the first-ever flight to Zagreb included the Director of the Prague State Airport, Ing. Bedřich Trnka; the Technical Director of Czechoslovak State Airlines, Ing. František Stočes; and a representative of the Ministry of Public Works.
On 1 June 1933, the route was extended to the port town of Sušak (the former name for Rijeka), and was named the “Adriatic Express”. Regular operation was first ensured by Aero A-35 aircraft designated for long-haul flights, and later by the Avia Fokker F-IXD. On 13 June 1936, the Zagreb route was also extended to the seaside city of Split and later also to Dubrovnik. From June 1936, the last segment to Rijeka and Split was flown by Saunders Roe A.19 Cloud aircraft, with an 8-passenger capacity, which could – provided that there was sunny weather and calm seas – land directly on water, and passengers were then carried to shore in boats. The flight was operated until 15 September 1938 as a seasonal service.
Given the war events, the seasonal route to Zagreb with an extension to Zadar was temporarily renewed only in the summer of 1947. Two years later, service on the route was curtailed due to the events of February 1948. The Zagreb route was only renewed in 1966 in cooperation with the JAT airline, and was operated all year round.
According to the current summer flight schedule, Czech Airlines offers its service between Prague and Zagreb seven days a week, operated by a modern ATR 72 propeller aircraft, departing from Ruzyně Airport at 12:10 and returning at 14:40. Last year, the connection was used by nearly 30,000 passengers, and since the beginning of this year, Czech Airlines has already carried nearly 10,000 passengers on the route.
Traditionally, flights to Zagreb are in greatest demand primarily in the high tourist season.
In addition to a scheduled service to Zagreb, Czech Airlines also offers seasonal flights to other Croatian cities – Split, and starting this year also to Dubrovnik.
Press Spokesperson of Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines, as the flag carrier airline of the Czech Republic, provides connections from Prague, and increasingly also “via” Prague, to important destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. In cooperation with its partners presently offers connections to 113 destinations in 46 countries around the world. Together with its subsidiaries, Czech Airlines offers to passengers a high quality of service.
Since 2001, Czech Airlines is a member of the global airline alliance SkyTeam providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. The 13 members are: Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Tarom Romanian Air Transport and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 395 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 13,000 daily flights to 898 destinations in 169 countries. SkyTeam celebrates its 10th anniversary in June 2010.
For ten years in a row, Czech Airlines has won the “Best Airline” award (TTG Travel Awards). Since 2004, Czech Airlines has also held primacy in the competition for the title “Best Airline Based in Central/Eastern Europe”, awarded by the international aviation organization Official Airline Guide. In 2009, the Airline defended the title “Best Airline in Central Europe”, bestowed annually by the independent organization Skytrax.
Czech Airlines holds a certificate under the ISO 14001 standard (environmental protection) and a certificate under IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit).
CONTACT INFORMATION: Czech Airlines, Ruzyně Airport, Prague 6, tel.: 220 116 220, e-mail: email@example.com, www.czechairlines.com