Prague, Czech Republic – Think globally, act locally… right? Well, it looks like the new owners of Czech Airlines don’t really adhere to this saying.
Prague-Bratislava flights scrapped
CSA, the Czech national carrier who changed hands earlier this year, announced that it will cancel all its flights between Prague and Bratislava as of January 11. The airline, created in then Czechoslovakia nearly 100 years ago, will therefore stop operating flights between the Czech and Slovak capital cities.
The information was first released by news website zdopravy.cz before being confirmed by Czech Airlines spokesman Danik Sabik, who said that “the main reason for the end of operation on regular lines is the lack of capacity of the corresponding type of aircraft”, claiming that it made no economic sense to allocate larger aircraft to that route due to its lack of potential.
Other Czecho-Slovak air connections cancelled
But that’s not all: flights connections between Prague and Ostrava as well as between Bratislava and Kosice will also be scrapped. Currently, CSA operated flights between Prague and Bratislava three times a week, with planes then continuing to Kosice, Slovakia’s second largest city, and back. Under the new plans, only the direct flights between Prague and Kosice, capital of Eastern Slovakia, will remain active.
According to the Slovak Spectator, passengers who have already bought their tickets for these routes after January 11 may ask for reimbursement on the company website.
Czech Airlines’ new management
Launched in 1923, the flights between Prague and Bratislava were the first launched by Czech Airlines after the company was founded in then-Czechoslovakia. In the early 1990’s, it was operating five daily flights between the two cities, before the country split in 1993. Facing, among other challenges, the development of high speed railways, the air route was eventually closed in 2011 for two years but reopened in 2013, along with the opening of a direct route between Bratislava and Kosice.
In February this year, the company Travel Service – operating under the commercial name Smartwings – became the majority owner of Czech Airlines. After buying the shares owned by the Czech state (19,8%) and Korean Air (44%), Travel Service now owns exactly 97.74% of Czech Airlines. The amount of the deal wasn’t disclosed.