In 2006, Czech Airlines (ČSA) carried nearly 5.5 million passengers.
Year-on-year, this represented an increase of 4.7 per cent. In 2005, ČSA carried 5.2 million passengers and a year earlier 4.3 million. Regular passenger traffic accounts for the greatest share of this result, with the number of such passengers having increased by 3.4 per cent year-on-year, reaching nearly 4.7 million. In 2006, ČSA operated over 39,000 flights, which represented an increase of 1.1 per cent over the previous year.
“This was the first time in its history that ČSA has carried nearly 5.5 million passengers in a single calendar year. We expect the number of passengers to grow in the future too, as the impact of the new business model becomes apparent. Additionally, the overall passenger capacity will grow with the arrival of the new Airbus aircraft, which have a greater number of seats,” said ČSA’s Vice-President for Sales Petr Řehák with respect to the passenger load figures.
Regular Passenger Traffic
In 2006, Czech Airlines reaffirmed its leading position in the air transport market through both improving its schedule of offered flights and by invigorating its fleet with the addition of new generation aircraft. “We have left the unproductive path of expansion at any cost and focused on reinforcing effective routes,” said Petr Řehák. For example, as part of the winter flight schedule (i.e. starting 29 October), the frequency of flights to Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Odessa, Tallinn, Vilnius, Sofia, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Bucharest has been increased. The most popular destinations on regular ČSA routes in 2006 included Paris, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Moscow, Dublin, New York, Rome, and Athens.
[GADS_NEWS]Charter Passenger Services
A nearly 13 per cent increase was noted in ČSA’s charter passenger services. In 2006, the airline carried nearly 800,000 passengers on its charter flights. The most frequent destinations in the ČSA charter network during the summer season included Hurghada, Heraklion, Sharm El Sheikh, Antalya, Mallorca, Rhodes, and Thessalonica. With the arrival of winter, ČSA planes started to carry clients of Czech tourist agencies to exotic destinations such as Varadero in Cuba, La Isla Margarita in Venezuela, and to La Romana and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. On its charter flights, ČSA carries not just clients of Czech and foreign travel agencies but, with increasing frequency, ČSA’s flights are being booked by well-known international companies and sports teams both from within and from outside of the Czech Republic. Examples would include the Czech national ice-hockey team and Prague’s Sparta ice-hockey team as well as the Irish national football team and the Anderlecht football team from Brussels. Its charter services have also been used, for example, by the Bank of Scotland and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Freight and Mail Services
The transport of goods and mail by ČSA has also increased. Last year, ČSA aircraft carried over 23,000 tons of mail and other cargo. This represented a five percent increase over 2005, when the airline carried 22,054 tons.
ČSA puts a great deal of importance on the punctuality of its flights. In the first eleven months of 2006, ČSA ranked third in the on-time performance ranking of 26 European airlines that are members of the Association of European Airlines (AEA). In August 2006, ČSA came in first.