Czech Airlines (ČSA) has announced that it is halting flights from Bratislava, Žilina and Poprad airports, citing the poor economic outlook and low ticket sales, the Sme daily reported. ČSA will maintain flights to and from Košice, in eastern Slovakia.
The decision came just six months after the airline had launched new routes from Bratislava, and prompted complaints from the airport.
“It is not normal to take such a step without a previous announcement and at a time of full operations during the Christmas holiday,” said Bratislava Airport’s marketing director Tomáš Kika, as quoted by Sme, adding that the airport had already started to negotiate with other carriers about how to substitute for the cancelled routes.
Meanwhile, Bratislava Airport cast doubt on ČSA’s claims that it was not making enough money from ticket sales, citing International Air Transport Association (IATA) passenger figures. During the first nine months of 2011, airlines using Slovak airports sold 15 percent more tickets than during the same period in 2010. For example, the route from Bratislava to Paris, serviced by ČSA, was the sixth most popular flight, followed by its flight to Amsterdam, which occupied 11th position.
“Because of the continuously increasing volume of plane tickets sold in Slovakia they [ČSA] could not talk about a fall in passenger interest,” Kika said, as quoted by Sme.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
7. Dec 2011 at 10:00