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Karlovy Vary Airport Significantly Increases Number of Handled Passengers in 2018

Karlovy Vary Airport Significantly Increases Number of Handled Passengers in 2018

Karlovy Vary, 31 January 2019
Karlovy Vary Airport handled a total of 45,003 passengers in 2018, representing a 115% increase compared to 2017. The significant growth in passenger numbers was primarily driven by the successful launch of flights by Pobeda airlines, a Russian low-cost carrier, on the Moscow (Vnukovo Airport) – Karlovy Vary route.

The year 2018 can be considered positive in terms of passenger numbers, but there were certain areas where the airport had to face explicit issues. The traditional connection to Moscow –Sheremetyevo Airport, operated by Czech Airlines, recorded a year-on-year capacity decrease of 25.6%, and a decrease in the number of handled passengers of 24.7% to a total of 11,618, amounting to a 25.8% share of the overall operating results. In addition, it was not possible to re-launch charter flights from Tel Aviv and Tashkent. On the other hand, in terms of other traffic indicators, a total of 5,480 movements were recorded, out of which 1,096 were regular scheduled flights, while the rest fell within the general aviation segment, predominantly under training flights. As in previous years, despite a slight year-on-year decrease, a significant share of the airport’s operation was generated by irregular transport under the private sector category, which accounted for 53% of all aviation business-generated revenue.

Both the airport and the Karlovy Vary Region management expect to see additional increases in the number of handled passengers this year. “I firmly believe that the number of passengers will primarily be fuelled by the frequency increase of POBEDA airlines flights. The carrier should operate its flights up to five times a week during certain periods. In addition, effective the 2019 summer schedule, we expect SmartWings to re-launch its Moscow – Sheremetyevo Airport route with one weekly frequency, operated on Sundays. I would appreciate the new airport management’s pro-active approach to negotiations regarding new routes and the airport’s further development,” Martin Hurajcik, the Region’s Deputy Governor, stated.

Jiří Pos, Karlovy Vary Airport CEO, outlined the path the Airport will follow in the upcoming period, saying: “When identifying opportunities for launching new routes, we primarily reach out to airlines which can offer connections to/from Russia and Ukraine. We focus on routes with previously established services to Karlovy Vary. Next, in line with the region’s aspiration to be included in the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we analyse the potential of areas within the rest of Europe in order to appeal to the segment of seekers of active and wellness stays in the Karlovy Vary Region. Last, but not least, we are also trying to become an alternative connection to Prague.”

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