Prague Airport handled more passengers in first half of 2019, on track to break another annual record

Prague Airport handled more passengers in first half of 2019, on track to break another annual record

Václav Havel Airport Prague handled a total of 7,841,865 passengers in the first half of 2019, an increase of 5 percent year-on-year. This puts the airport on track to break last year’s record numbers, if the summer plays out as expected. But the rate of increase was less than in the first half of 2018.

The busiest destination by number of passengers in the first half again was London. Amsterdam recorded the highest increase in the number of passengers handled.



The number of passengers on long-haul flights increased significantly, by as much as 10 percent, compared to the first half of last year.

“The year-on-year increase in the number of cleared passengers has been at the upper limit of our prediction from the beginning of the year for the past six months. The opening of direct connections to a total of nine new destinations, the arrival of three new carriers and the increase in frequencies on 10 routes, including one long-haul, contributed to such a good result,” Václav Řehoř, chairman of the board of directors of Prague Airport, said in a press release. Prague Airport is the company that operates Václav Havel Airport Prague.

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“The excellent operating results and the further increase in the number of passengers are also evidence that the operation of Prague Airport has not been significantly affected by the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,” Řehoř he added.

Aside from top-ranked London, other busy destinations were Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

In the first half of 2019, there were up to 95 flights per week between Prague and London, the most for any route. There were up to 63 flights per week to Moscow, 58 flights per week to Paris, 54 flights per week to Amsterdam and 51 flights per week to Warsaw.

Direct routes to and from Amsterdam increased by 30,000 passengers, Antalya by 26,000 passengers, Doha by 25,000 passengers, Riga by 18,000 passengers and Copenhagen by 16,000 passengers.

The number of checked-in passengers also increased on long-haul flights, despite the fact that some seasonal long-haul flights were only launched at the very end of the first half of the year. In year-on-year comparison, in the first six months of 2019, a total of 15 direct long-haul flights from Prague handled 10 percent more passengers.

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“We already have a very well covered network of short flights across Europe. The extension of long-haul flights is therefore an important point of our strategy for developing direct flights from Prague,” Řehoř said.

The further increase in the number of cleared passengers on long-haul flights confirms that this strategy is right and that the expansion of long-haul flights has considerable potential,” he added.

Dubai was the busiest long-term destination in the first half of 2019, with a total of 223,797 passengers handled.

In the first half of this year, the most frequented countries were Britain, Italy, Russia, France and Germany.

This year’s increase on the first half follows on an increase last year, when the airport handled a total of 7,463,975 passengers in the first half of that year. That was a 10 percent increase over the same period in 2017.

Václav Havel Airport Prague in full year of 2018 had a record 16,797,006 checked-in passengers and 155,530 take-offs and landings. While there were 9 percent more passengers than in the previous year, the number of airplane movements increased less than 5 percent.

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Investments in new infrastructure as well as larger planes on some routes have helped to make the increases possible. New check in facilities and gates are helping to speed up departures. In the long run, another runway is planned.

Václav Havel Airport Prague opened April 5, 1937, as Prague Ruzyně Airport. Right after former president Václav Havel’s death on Dec. 18, 2011, an online petition asked the government to rename it to Václav Havel International Airport. This name change took place Oct. 5, 2012, on what would have been Havel’s 76th birthday.

Top countries by number of checked-in passengers:
1. Great Britain: 1,030,327 passengers
2. Italy: 675,681 passengers
3. Russia: 588,285 passengers
4. France: 567.988 passengers
5. Germany: 560,010 passengers

Top destinations (all airports operated) by check-in passengers:
1. London: 661.289 passengers
2. Paris: 439,455 passengers
3. Moscow: 409,546 passengers
4. Amsterdam: 357,254 passengers
5. Frankfurt: 261,172 passengers

Top destinations by number of weekly frequencies:
1. London: up to 95 flights / week
2. Moscow: up to 63 flights / week
3. Paris :up to 58 flights / week
4. Amsterdam: up to 54 flights / week
5. Warsaw: up to 51 flights / week

Raymond Johnston

Prague-based journalist with over three decades of media experience writing about culture, business, and travel. Folktale and legend expert, and avid photographer. Follow him on Instagram at @raymondjohnston4 or visit his blog magicbohemia.com.

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