Dec 11 – at 6:00 am, Czech Airlines ran the first flight on its regular route from Prague to Bratislava. At the same time it commenced operation of its new Slovak domestic route, connecting the two largest cities in Slovakia – Košice and Bratislava. The company is reopening the oldest Czechoslovak east-west air-link Prague – Bratislava – Košice and back, which was introduced on May 12, 1924. Czech Airlines will be running two return flights in both directions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As of summer 2014 they will expand up to ten frequencies weekly. In connection with the new flights in Slovakia, Czech Airlines is also launching new check-in services online using a website or smartphone as well as new ticket payment options.
By introducing new flights in Slovakia, including a stable and highly frequented airlink between Košice and Bratislava, connecting to other flights to Prague, Czech Airlines hopes to contribute to improving connections between the regions and making them more attractive to domestic and foreign investors. The Prague – Bratislava route is the oldest in the history of Czech Airlines. The first commercial flight of the former Czechoslovak State Airlines took place on October 29, 1923 from Prague to Bratislava. Less than a year later, on May 12, 1924, the route was extended to include Bratislava – Košice, creating the first Czechoslovak east-west airlink and ensuring the strategic connection of all three major metropolitan areas. Czech Airlines are now renewing the traditional Prague – Bratislava and Bratislava – Košice route in the year it celebrates its 90th anniversary.
Connecting the new route with a number of connecting flights leaving from Prague
In the current winter season, the route between Bratislava and Prague connects to a number of Czech Airlines flights out of Prague. Eleven of those flights have a layover in Prague of less than two hours, both arrivals and departures. These include flights to Barcelona, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Kiev, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Warsaw, and even Seoul, which should be highly appreciated by the managers of the many South Korean companies operating in Slovakia. In summer 2014 Czech Airlines plans to increase the number of return flights between Prague and Bratislava up to ten weekly. As of April 2014 the number of connecting flights will also increase, adding connections, for instance, to Geneva, Madrid, Nice, St. Petersburg and Zurich. The Czech Airlines transfer counters at the Václav Havel Airport Prague underwent general reconstruction this year. They now boast improved layout, top technology and increased capacity, making transferring in Prague much simpler, with connections within the Schengen area no longer than 30 minutes.
Czech Airlines introducing new check-in services at M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava
In connection with the new direct Prague – Bratislava service, as of today Czech Airlines is introducing new passenger check-in services at the M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava. Clients can now check in at the counter as usual or using the Czech Airlines website at www.czechairlines.sk and www.czechairlines.com or using their smartphones. Online or smartphone check-in for Czech Airlines flights starts 30 hours before departure. Online check-in closes one hour before departure. Passengers can choose their own seats with online check-in at no additional charge and change them multiple times as needed. Smartphone users with the iOS operating system can save their boarding pass in the “PassBook”. The same services, i.e. online or smartphone check-in, are also available at the Košice Airport. Since Czech Airlines also operates direct flights from Prague to Košice, the company has introduced these services at the Košice Airport already.
Flights on the Slovak market can now also be paid by bank transfer
Another new option Czech Airlines is providing passengers in Slovakia is paying for tickets purchased on the company’s website by bank transfer. This new service is currently in the testing phase and will be fully launched at the beginning of 2014. It will be possible to pay for tickets purchased 7 or more days prior to departure by local bank transfer. Tickets purchased shortly before departure date will continue to be paid by credit or debit card over the internet. Tickets for the new flights are also sold through travel offices and agencies.
The flights between Prague and Bratislava and Košice and Bratislava will be operated by turboprop airliners ATR 42 or ATR 72, in case of higher-capacity demand. The flight between Prague and Bratislava will last 60 minutes and the Košice – Bratislava flight will last 55 minutes. The flight schedule for the new flights is available at the company’s website. Czech Airlines will provide free refreshments on the new flights, just as on other European short flights under an hour. Passengers will have the opportunity to choose from a full selection of drinks, i.e. juice, soft drinks (include diet), carbonated and non-carbonated mineral waters and waters, alcoholic and non-alcoholic Budvar beer and Moravian wines, as well as hot drinks such as coffee and tea, of course. In addition, Czech Airlines will also serve salty crackers or muesli bars in Economy travel class and cold snack in Business class. A selection of daily newspapers will also be available for passengers to take.
2016 weren’t easy for airlines around the globe that continue to struggle with ways of finding pilots to fill cockpit seats. 2017 is expected to be an even more pressing year, as Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers keep accelerating their production, while the already small pool of qualified FOs and PICs grows at a significantly slower pace....
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