Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) is again getting back into the long-haul business with leased Airbus A330s (previously operated with Airbus A310s). The first route will be to Seoul starting in June 2013. The airline is also adding short-range flights to Florence, Nice and Perm (Russia) on March 31, 2013. Czech Airlines is also retiring the last Boeing 737-500 (pictured) at the end of the current winter schedule. The company has issued the following statement:
After a three-year hiatus, Czech Airlines is again including its own long-haul flights in its flight schedule. A wide-body Airbus A330 will join the airline’s fleet, enabling Czech Airlines to launch new scheduled service to Seoul, South Korea, and to initiate more intensive code-share cooperation with Korean Air in operating long-haul flights from Prague via Seoul to the East Asia, based on the model of cooperation being successfully employed with Etihad Airways. The new agreement will also ensure better connections to Czech Airlines flights from Prague to Europe for Korean Air’s clients. In addition to Seoul, Czech Airlines will introduce new service to Perm, Nice, Munich, Zurich and Florence in the 2013 summer season.
The twice-weekly Airbus A330-300 service to Seoul (Incheon) will commence on June 1 per Airline Route. The carrier is expected to also launch A330 service to Almaty, Ekaterinburg and Moscow (Sheremetyevo).
Next June, a long-haul Airbus A330 hired on the basis of operative leasing will join the Czech Airlines fleet. Among other flights, the aircraft will be deployed on Czech Airlines’ new scheduled long-haul service to Seoul. The flights will leave Prague every Saturday and Sunday, and Seoul every Sunday and Tuesday, supplementing the four weekly Korean Air flights. The two airlines will share codes on the route.
Seoul is not the only new destination in the Czech Airlines flight schedule in the 2013 summer season. The airline will open regular service to Perm in Russia, as well as Nice, Munich, Zurich and Florence. To certain destinations, it is introducing a noon flight wave, and increasing the number of flights compared to the 2012 summer season. These destinations include Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Milan, Stockholm and Warsaw. In making a year-on-year comparison, the airline will also offer more weekly flights to Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don and Ufa. Czech Airlines will newly add Brisbane, Singapore and Nairobi to its flight schedule, which will be operated in cooperation with Etihad Airways. Another innovation in the summer flight schedule is a change in the model of operation to Baltic destinations. Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn will remain in Czech Airlines’ offer, and will be operated by airBaltic on a code-share basis.
In the 2013 summer season, only Airbus (A330, A320, A319) and ATR (ATR 72 and ATR 42) aircraft will be deployed on Czech Airlines flights. The airline will have thereby complied with one of its last restructuring tasks – the transition to a fleet of just two aircraft makes. Boeing 737-500 aircraft will be retired from the fleet by the end of the current winter season.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Boeing 737-55S OK-XGE (msn 26543) is currently painted in the SkyTeam colors. The airliner is pictured at Palma de Mallorca.