From 29th June 2003, Air Slovakia will commence operations from Birmingham International Airport (BIA) to Bratislava, offering the UK's first and only direct scheduled air link with Slovakia's capital city.
Air Slovakia will start with a summer schedule of four flights per week departing Birmingham every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. It plans to operate a fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft from BIA to various onward international destinations, with its initial services connecting to Amritsar.
The Birmingham-Bratislavia-Amritsar service will provide an important historical link for the Punjabi community living in the UK, with the sacred Indian city deemed to be the centre of the Sikh faith and the site of its holiest shrine - The Golden Temple.
Mr Tibor Varga, Commercial Director, Air Slovakia, said, "This is an important step in the growth of our airline and part of a massive expansion programme which includes destinations in the North America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the Indian subcontinent. We are delighted to be able to offer passengers flying from Birmingham International Airport a first-class service and flying experience which we pride ourselves on so much". Brian Summers, Managing Director, BIA, said, "We are thrilled that Air Slovakia have chosen to launch their first UK service to Bratislava out of Birmingham. This new route is another exciting addition to our expanding network and will provide even more choice for travellers in the Midlands and beyond. The opportunity to travel onwards to Amritsar will be welcomed by many and is further confirmation that we are the Midland's gateway to the Indian subcontinent".
Air Slovakia's first aircraft, bearing the name, 'The City of the Golden Temple', will feature 12 first class seats and 188 economy class seats. Special introductory fares have been made available, starting at £299.
Haveric From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1247 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1989 times:
Having just visited Bratislava / Vienna, I tihnk it might be more worthwhile in the long run to build one strong regional airport / airline @ VIE. A high-speed rail-link directly from VIE to Bratislava seems to me to be a better use of Slovakian resources, particularly given the shiny new rail station built primarily for trains coming from downtown Vienna...
PKK From Denmark, joined Apr 2003, 184 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1952 times:
Having lived in SK for over two years. Being married to a Slovak.... yes biased probably. But working in the industry and therefore has some inside knowledge.... Forget the high-speed train link and the highway/motorway. The Austrians have only committed to have the motorway ready by 2005. More than a year after SK joins EU. The train link is even further away.
VIE Airport and AUA (Austrian Airlines) has a quite substantial interest in property at BTS M.R. Stefanika Airport. Their intention has been/is to make VIE a scheduled PAX hub and BTS a charter/Cargo hub. This has been spoiled somewhat by politics and AT's fear of the ost (east) invasion of cheap labor etc.
The first LCC of central / Southeastern Europe SkyEurope Airlines (skyeurope.com) has started operations last year, and now provides BTS with several EU connections. More, incl. Paris, London and Brussels are planned for this and next year.
VIE is not the right place to "merge" operations! Example: SkyEurope is an LCC, but they server food and drinks for free !!! Why???? It is more cost effective for them to do that, than to set up all the accounting and administration to charge for the food and drinks !!!!
Labor is cheap but high quality, produce is cheap and BTS Airport provides all the facilities of a modern western airport. Incl. this "new Air Slovakia flight, they will now average about 5/6 international flts a day and 3-4 domestic flights !!! Huge potential for expansion!!!
If anyone of you don't know about SK or it's attractions. Let me give you some hints.
SK is about 49000 square km's in size. 47% of which is untouched, unspoiled nature!!! At the most expensive expat hangout in the capitol the (of course) Irish Pub. You can get a pint of the local beer (suggestion: Zlaty Bazant "Golden pheasant" and remember beer was invented in this part of the world.... the Dane admitted) for....... wait for it.....0.60 EUR/USD !!!
The girls are gorgeous and..... I could go on 4ever.....
Anyway...to show some of the nature, with an aviation link. I first need to post a photo or two from POP. That's Poprad in the foot hills of the High Tatras. A superb Ski/Spa/Hiking area in northern SK. Direct flts from PRG and BTS with SkyEurope...........and no. I don't have shares in or work for SkyEurope!.
Andrej From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 835 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1796 times:
it is great to see another member of a.net who has some ties to Slovakia. And I must agree in everything you have mentioned about Slovakia. Slovak girls are the hotest chicks around. Slovakian beer is good, and people are nice.
About the merge of VIE and BTS. This idea had flowed around for a few years, but during that time, Mr. Meciar was PM, and he was not EU's favourite. Thus, the idea was droped and not realized.
As Slovakian, I would also like to see a national carrier. It should consist of RJ with low capacity (ERJ135 comes to mind). The RJ would be the backbone of the fleet. It should have short-medium range airplane (A32X family) for certain heavier routes and should have two long-hauls. (A343, A33X).