Prague Airport evaluates 2010 Operating Results

Prague 1/31/2011

Prague Airport handled a total of 11,556,858 passengers in 2010. The airport thus recorded results similar to those for 2009 (an anticipated mild decline of 0.7% or 87,000 passengers). The results were significantly influenced by the April interruption of air travel in Europe caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption (leading to a loss of 200,000 passengers for the airport). At the close of the year, transport capacity reflected flight interruptions due to snow emergencies at many European airports (leading to a loss of approximately 90,000 passengers at Prague Airport). Last but not least, planned reductions were carried out involving the least profitable Czech airlines before the kickoff of the 2010/2011 winter flight schedule, based on the three-year restructuring plan approved by the government in May of last year. For 2011, Prague Airport expects growth in passenger numbers of around 2%.

"Operating results for Prague Airport came in according to our expectations. We're happy that in spite of the lingering economic crisis and the unfavorable weather conditions that have plagued Europe this year, we were able to hold to our 2009 results. This year we expect growth of about 2% in passenger numbers. Under the most optimistic scenario, growth may even reach 3%," said Jiri Pos, Executive Director of Aviation and Operations and a member of the board of Prague Airport.

The number of passengers handled on scheduled airline connections grew 1.7% year-on-year (7.63 million passengers). The airlines (excluding Czech Airlines) actually handled 6% more passengers this year than they had in 2009. The share in operations at the airport attributable to airlines in 2010 was 66.1%. Budget airlines were responsible for 22.1% and charter airlines for 11.8% of Prague Airport operations.

There were 156,052 takeoffs and landings at Prague Airport last year, a drop of 4.7% year-on-year. This drop was partially attributable to the Icelandic volcano in April and the snow emergency at many European airports in December. Importantly, however, a trend that began in 2009 continued in force which saw airlines increasing aircraft occupancy, in some cases even using aircraft with heightened seating capacity. Average aircraft capacity (the so-called "load factor") was around 70% for flights into and out of Prague in 2010.

There were 1.3 million transit passengers last year. They thus accounted for 23% of the total 5.7 million departing passengers.

August saw the greatest number of people taking advantage of air travel, with 1.3 million passengers handled in the Czech Republic's largest airport. The busiest day was September 17th, with nearly 47,000 passengers. On average, 31,600 passengers passed through the airport’s gates each day.

The airline with the highest passenger count was once again Czech Airlines. The airline was responsible for 43% of the total passenger count at the airport. Other airlines with substantial passenger numbers in 2010 included Travel Service, Wizz Air, the British airline easyJet and Germany's Lufthansa.

The vast majority of passengers at Prague Airport flew traditional European routes, accounting for 90.5% of total operations. The second-largest group of flights headed to Africa, making up 4.6% of the total. 1.8% of operations at the airport consisted of flights to the Middle East. Flights to Asia saw an increase of 0.7%. The most frequented routes for passengers were Prague to Great Britain (1.2 million) and Prague to Germany (1.1 million). In third place for most frequented destination was France (889,000). Fourth was Italy with 839,000 passengers. And fifth was Russia, with 735,000 passengers.

Supplementary information:
- Prague Airport had scheduled connections to 131 destinations around the globe via 47 airlines during 2010.
- 88.2% of the total passenger count involved scheduled connections, with 11.8% using holiday charters.
- The most-used connection was Prague-Paris Charles de Gaulle, with 738,000 passengers. 474,000 passengers used the Prague-Moscow (Sheremetyevo) connection. The third most frequently used connection was Prague-Frankfurt (439,000 passengers). In fourth place was London Heathrow (404,000) and in fifth place was Amsterdam (392,000).

About Prague Airport:
In 2010, the airport handled 11.56 million passengers. Prague Airport was rated the Best Airport in Eastern Europe in the 2009 World Airport Awards. Passengers will have access during the 2010/2011 winter season to 46 airlines connecting Prague directly with 103 airports around the globe.

Media contact:
Michaela Lagronova
Media Spokesperson for Letiště Praha, a. s.
mobile: +420 220 113 857