06. 02. 2008 - Czech Airlines’ Sofia Service Celebrating its 60th Anniversary
Prague, 6 February 2008
On Saturday, Czech Airlines will celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the commencement of regular flights between Prague and Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia. The then Czechoslovak Airlines first flew to that destination on 9 February 1948. The route was operated by the legendary DC-3 Dakota aircraft. Presently, the Airline deploys its most modern Airbus A320 aircraft or Boeing 737s for 162 passengers on this twice-daily service.
Czechoslovak Airlines launched the service to Sofia in the post-war era, full of plans for the airline’s further development. In 1948, Czechoslovak Airlines opened up a number of national routes, and many routes abroad, and planned to start flying to the US and Canada, and to purchase long-range American aircraft. Those plans were put to an end by the political coup of 25 February 1948, causing a significant reduction in the route network and in air transport in general.
Last year, the service to Sofia was used by 113,700 passengers, representing a 10.9 percent year-on-year increase. Overall, Czech Airlines operated nearly 620 flights between Prague and Sofia in 2007, which is a 5.5 percent year-on-year increase. The more rapid increase in the number of passengers than the number of flights documents that the utilisation of flights keeps increasing from year to year. This year, Czech Airlines expects a further increase in demand for flights between Prague and Sofia. A morning flight, three times a week, will be added to the afternoon and evening flight, departing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:50 a.m. from Sofia, and at 9:15 a.m. from Prague. The overall capacity offered between Prague and Sofia will thus increase by ten percent year-on-year.
Plan for 2008
The Czech Airlines air service between Prague and Sofia is used primarily by businessmen and managers. Many of them carry on from Prague on Czech Airlines connecting flights, primarily to Western Europe and Scandinavia, but also to the USA.
During the winter flight schedule, i.e., until 29 March, Czech Airlines essentially offers two flights per day to Sofia, leaving Prague at 11:30 a.m. and 7:10 p.m. From Sofia, passengers can fly at 9:00 a.m., landing in Prague at 9:55, i.e., before the day’s peak departure time. The afternoon flight takes off at 3:10 p.m., landing in Prague at 4:05 p.m.
Czech Airlines Spokesperson