Václav Havel Prague Airport remains open for all arrivals and departures. Thanks to this fact, a total of 44 special cargo flights with medical supplies were able to land there since 20 March 2020 when the first aircraft with medical supplies on board landed in Prague. More than 1,200 tons of medical aid in total has already reached the Czech Republic. The total volume of cargo handled at Prague Airport, including regular cargo routes, has increased by 26.5% year-on-year during this period. Since 18 March 2020, Prague Airport has also handled a total of 33 arrivals and departures of repatriation flights with passengers on board. More than 3,600 passengers, mostly Czech citizens returning home to their families and loved ones from abroad, have arrived in the Czech Republic aboard those flights. Moreover, approximately 900 foreign nationals have been able to travel back home from the Czech Republic this way.
“Since the second half of March, important medical supplies have been brought to the Czech Republic via Václav Havel Airport Prague almost daily, confirming the strategic importance of our airport within the transport infrastructure of the country. The flights with medical supplies on board are primarily handled by employees of Prague Airport and its subsidiaries, alongside other handling companies and additional partner organizations, such as the Czech Fire Rescue Service, the Czech Police, the Army of the Czech Republic and the Administration of the State Material Reserves. It is thanks to their hard work and resilience that healthcare facilities have been receiving the much-needed help for over a month,” Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
For several months, due to the spread of COVID-19, stringent sanitary measures have been applied to both passengers and airport staff who continue to perform their irreplaceable roles in the airport with limited traffic. The measures have gradually been introduced since the end of January. For example, in places where queues usually form, stickers are placed advising people to keep a safe distance. Check-in counters and information desks continue to use protective screens, which form an effective barrier between the passenger and the employee. Every passenger on arrival receives a face mask if they are lacking one, together with an information leaflet on mandatory procedures upon arrival from abroad to the Czech Republic. The arrival gates and other passenger check-in areas are regularly disinfected thoroughly.
“Prague Airport has managed to secure a sufficient amount of protective gear and disinfectant on time. Thus, every employee has access to respirators, face masks, gloves and other protective equipment. There are also more than 250 hand sanitizers located throughout the airport. Employees are consistently and regularly trained in prevention, as well as their family members, for whom we have created and distributed family-friendly leaflets on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19,” Vaclav Rehor stated.
However, regular traffic at Václav Havel Airport Prague continues to decline. Last March, the airport handled approximately 6,015 arrivals and departures, which is a year-on-year decrease by 47.3%. Therefore, in view of the necessary cost savings, the airport has started to gradually phase out operations. In Terminal 1, traffic is concentrated in Pier B. In Terminal 2, some segments of airport infrastructure, such as information counters and central security check point, have been restricted to operate only during the precisely determined times of irregular departures.