SKYEUROPE stopped operating regular flights between Bratislava and Prague as of March 25.
“One of the reasons for cancelling this route is a new agreement between SkyEurope Airlines and Bratislava Airport,” said Tomáš Kika, the airlines spokesman. The agreement defines the structure of fees in a way that does not include the Prague route as a local connection and does not provide lower fees that would enable to keep Bratislava–Prague flights competitive with other forms of transport on this route, Kika said.
SkyEurope has been operating regular flights between the Slovak and Czech capitals twice a day since the start of the winter schedule on October 28, 2007. In the first month of its operation, the airline transported more people on this route than did the Czech airline ČSA, Kika reported.
“[Our] share of the market on this route exceeded fifty percent, while the share in transport to Prague or Bratislava as final destinations represented 80 to 90 percent,” Mr. Kika added.
At the beginning of summer, the airline plans to strengthen its connection between Prague and Košice.
At the same time, SkyEurope is planning to open direct flights from Bratislava to Istanbul. The airline will serve passengers on this regular service three times a week from April 28, 2008, Kika said. The introduction of the new route corresponds with a rising demand by business travellers, holidaymakers and visitors to Istanbul.