THE FIFTH oldest airline in the world today flies modern planes.
The first flight, by an Aero A-14 Brandenburg airplane, took place on October 29, 1923 on the route Prague - Bratislava. Karel Brabenec was the pilot, and a journalist from the newspaper Lidové noviny, Václav König, was the first passenger.
By the end of that year, the airplanes of Czech airlines had transported 29 passengers and, in spring 1924, the line was extended to Košice.
Czech airlines carried out its first flight only 20 years after the Wright Brothers assembled the first engine-powered plane. Czech airlines is, in this way, the fifth oldest airline in the world.
About 70,500 passengers travelled the route Prague - Bratislava - Košice last year. Czech airlines expects to carry about 75,000 people on this route next year, as they have opened a new line from Prague to the Sliač airport, close to Banská Bystrica in central Slovakia.
Overall, Czech airlines has transported 3.07 million passengers, which is the highest number in its history, compared to 2.88 million in 2001. The company expects even higher numbers of carried customers this year.
The volume of cargo transported by the airlines reached 17,900 tons last year. This represents a year-to-year increase of 1,700 tons.
In 2002, Czech airlines showed income after taxation of $14.645 million (€12.75 million), which is an increase of 87 percent, compared to 2001. Their turnover increased in 2002 by 11.5 percent to $517.5 million (€450.47 million).
Today, the airplanes of Czech airlines take off, on average, 65 times a day. Their lines fly to 69 cities in 43 countries.
10. Nov 2003 at 0:00 | Marta Ďurianová