Prague Airport Handles Nearly 3.7 Million Passengers in 2020, Ready for 2021 Traffic Enhancement
Throughout the course of 2020, a total of 3,665,871 passengers passed through the gates of Václav Havel Prague Airport. The operation of the airport was unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the related restrictions on travel and the worldwide decline in demand for flying. As a result, 79% fewer passengers were handled in Prague compared to 2019. In January and February 2020, there were direct flights serviced from Prague to a total of 111 destinations around the world. In the following months, the offer was limited and continued changing based on the epidemiological situation. Passengers were offered flights to up to 87 destinations on an ongoing basis. Last year, the routes to the United Kingdom were, traditionally, the most popular, with the greatest number of passengers flying to/from London. The airport is ready to resume its operations this year and continues to focus to the measures aimed at protecting the health of both passengers and airport employees.
Václav Havel Airport Prague is ready for a gradual return of air carriers and passengers expected during this year. Currently, passengers can take direct flights to over twenty destinations from Prague. The offer of additional direct connections will primarily depend on the development of the epidemiological situation, which will determine the possible relaxation of the rules for travel. The rate and speed of vaccination of the European population and the uniform set of rules for flying will also play an important role.
“The airport has prepared a strategy for the fastest possible re-launch of direct routes from Prague Airport. It primarily aims to support demand, on the basis of which airlines decide to resume operations of their routes. We cooperate with our partners and tourist boards, such as the CzechTourism, Prague City Tourism and the Central Bohemian Tourist Board, to support the incoming tourism sector. We negotiate with carriers the options of re-launching and launching air connections and provide them with up-to-date information on developments on the Czech market alongside other information. In addition, we have expanded our incentive programme to motivate airlines to resume their routes and implemented a range of health-protective measures to ensure employee and passenger safety and their regaining of confidence in flying. With respect to demand for flying and the strategies of individual airlines, our 2021 priority is to resume flights to key European destinations,” Vaclav Rehor, chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
According to the published operating results, a total of 54,163 take-offs and landings (i.e. movements) were performed at Václav Havel Airport Prague last year. Compared to 2019, the number of movements decreased by 65%. Due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, January was the busiest month of 2020, during which a total of 1,051,028 passengers were handled, representing a historical record for the first month of the year. Most people passed through the gates of Prague Airport on Jan. 3 2020, when a total of 49,387 people traveled via Prague. For the first time in the airport’s history, the milestone of one million handled passengers was exceeded in the month of February. A partial recovery of operations took place in the summer months in connection with the improving epidemiological situation and relaxed travel conditions. In July and August, Prague Airport handled approximately 600,000 passengers, confirming the rapid resumption of travel demand.
In terms of countries, the 2020 routes most popular with passengers were between Prague and Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia and Spain. The busiest 2020 destination was, once again, London, with all its six international airports serviced from Prague. The list of the most popular destinations is, traditionally, completed with Amsterdam, Paris, Moscow and Frankfurt.
Since the beginning of last year, a number of protective measures have been in place at Václav Havel Airport Prague, with handling of departures and arrivals performed under strict hygienic conditions to ensure the health and safety of both passengers and employees. The efficiency of the protective measures applied was confirmed by obtaining the international ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) Certificate.