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SkyEurope Airlines ZRH-BTS-ZRH  
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Posted (12 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2305 times:

April 24, 2002
SkyEurope Airlines
NE 411
Zurich-Bratislava
EMB-120 OM-SKY
Seat 8A
24 passengers (Load-Factor 80%)
Scheduled 12.25-14.00
Actual 12.35-14.15

I arrived at the airport at about 11.35. Check-In was at the Swissport check-in counters in line 5. It was very fast, I just had to show them my passport and confirmation e-mail. I was surprised they choosed Swissport as their handling agent, especially because they're a low cost airline, as Jet Aviation is much cheaper as far as I know. However, I spent some time checking e-mails and going round the terminals to get new timetables for my collection. We had to take the bus to get to get to the aircraft, it was the first time I was in their new bus terminal called "Terminal C". I wouldn't call it "Terminal", it is just a big tent. The bus brought us to the aircraft which was standing at the other end of the airport to the area in front of the freight buildings where normally there are just Swiss regional aircraft, such as Saab 2000s and ERJ-145s. SkyEurope’s single aircraft, EMB-120 OM-SKY, looks very nice. It is wearing to colors of the national flag of Slovakia. The aircraft is leased from the owner of Metropolis and was previously operated by BASE Airlines in British Airways colors. It was the second time I was sitting in the aircraft now, I already was inside the plane at the press conference of SkyEurope a few weeks earlier.


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We departed a little late on RWY 10 behind a Saab 2000 wearing new Swiss colors. Because of the bad weather looking out of the window wasn’t the most interesting option, so I leafed through the timetables I got at the airport. After a few moments the flight-attendant announced she will serve drinks and sandwiches now. They offer coffee, tea or mineral water and cheese or ham sandwiches. Surprisingly, everything was free of charge. However, they told me it would be cheaper to provide them for free then spending money on price lists, accounting etc. If someone has been to Slovakia you probably know how cheap everything is there, so you most probably could also understand them. The flight was very smooth. The captain began the descent to Bratislava a few minutes before overflying Vienna. Fortunately, the weather was better in the East of Austria, so I could look down at Vienna airport. A few minutes later we approached Bratislava. The captain did a visual approach and flew a 90° left turn just a few seconds before touch-down. I never experienced this before. As we taxied to the airport building I could see nothing but very interesting planes: Air Koryo Il-62M, Slovak Airlines Tu-154, Slovak Government Tu-154s and Yak-40s, ABA Air Fokker 27, Air Slovakia B737-200 still wearing Southwest colors, they just removed the titles and replaced them by Air Slovakia titles. There was also an ATR 72 of CSA Czech Airlines. The airport looks very new, I learned the new arrival hall was built in 1995. However, there are only few daily flights, most of them to Kosice in the East of Slovakia, Prague and Moscow. The airport was nearly empty both times I was there.

April 25, 2002
SkyEurope Airlines
NE 410
Bratislava-Zurich
EMB-120 OM-SKY
Seat 5A
16 passengers (Load-Factor 53%)
Scheduled 09.45-11.30
Actual 09.45-11.35

I took the bus to the airport. When I arrived there at about 08.45 there was nobody in the departing hall apart from two check-in agents. Logically check-in was again very fast so I decided to have a look if there is a place to watch at the apron and the runways. I went upstairs and found myself in front of a Swiss ticket office. Why the hell do they need a ticket office at an empty airport in Slovakia? Just a few metres away there was a nice restaurant, there was even a visitor terrace. Now, a Balkan Bulgarian Cargo Antonov AN-12 freighter was also parked at the airport. A few minutes later SkyEurope’s single aircraft, OM-SKY, arrived from Kosice followed by a Slovak Airlines Yak-40 which was also coming from Kosice. As there were lots of people boarding the Air Koryo Il-62M I hoped the aircraft would take-off soon but I didn’t until my flights back to Zurich took off. I think the Il-62M was operated for government as the passengers boarding the aircraft were driven to the aircraft directly from outside the airport. 30 minutes before take-off I went to the gate. There were lots of shops and bars in the departure area. Most of the shops were closed but all three bars were open. I don’t know how they survive with just 300-400 departing passengers a day. There was an escalator from every gate down to the apron.
I had seat 5A, just above the wing. The flight was again very smooth, same service as on the flight to Bratislava. Again nothing but clouds after shortly after overflying Vienna airport.
They even allowed people to visit the cockpit, however I didn’t asked as I saw inside the cockpit from my seat anyway. We arrived a little late because of „traffic jams“ north of Zurich, I just made it on the train back to Zurich main station that departed at 11.43 and beat my record to get from the aircraft to the train at Zurich by two minutes.

Best regards
Thomas Jaeger
Chur, Switzerland


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5294 posts, RR: 61
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

Hi,

Welcome to Airliners.net!

Very enjoyable read, I was waiting for a SkyEurope trip report for ages!

Jeremiah



Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineSR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2071 times:

Interesting report.
About Air Koryo: You can be 99% sure that this was a government flight. There are afaik almost no passenger flights out of NorthKorea.
The Il62 flies also to Switzerland from time to time.
cu


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

Indeed nice report!

btw:
have been flying the Il62 Air Koryo  Smile/happy/getting dizzy and I would say it has been 100% a Government flight...
if you want to have some Air Koryo details visit my website:
How much was the fare with SkyEurope for the return trip?



Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineVH-OJO From Slovakia, joined Jan 2000, 238 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2027 times:

The fares on Sky Europe are as low as EUR 12 (USD 10) for Bratislava-Kosice, EUR 23 (USD 20) for Bratislava-Prague, and EUR 69 (USD 60) for Bratislava-Zurich all excluding taxes.

I do not know how can they ever make a profit with these fares. They now have a second Emb-120, a US registered N92GL ready to join the fleet.


User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2008 times:

They don't sell all seats at these fares. If you buy a ticket just a few days in advance you'll pay much more.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

@Swissgabe: The commercial manager of SkyEurope Airlines is a subscriber to my aviation newsletter and so we get in touch and talked about their project via e-mail. He invited me to come to Bratislava, so it was a free flight.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5294 posts, RR: 61
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1990 times:

Hi Thomas,

Can you confirm that Milan will be their next route? I notice that they are looking for a sales manager there so that is what I am presuming anyway.

BTW, what are there plans regarding the B737 they were planning to get?

Jeremiah



Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2003 times:

Yes, Milan will most probably be their next route. As far as I know they'll start flights to Milan in September. Their seasonal flights to Split, Venice and Zadar will be finished in early September. So, they can use the aircraft to add a flight to Milan. The SkyEurope CEO, Mr Mandl, told me they want to operate four EMB-120s by the end of this year, other destinations to be operated with the EMB-120s could be Munich, Berlin and Rome. The first B737-300 will most probably arrive next year to open new routes to most probably Brussels National, London Stansted and Paris CDG. Other destinations to be added could be Amsterdam, Kiev, Rome and Warsaw. They're planning to start bus shuttle service from Vienna directly to Bratislava airport to get more Austrian passengers as it would be difficult to fill a B737-300 on these flights only with passengers travelling out of Bratislava. It could be that they add a second daily flight to Zurich as the load-factors on the Zurich flights are very good. Later, they want to add more aircraft and new hubs in Hungary, the Czech Republic or Poland as soon as these countries will join the EC and open skies agreements will take effect. Their goal is to become the strongest low-cost airline in Central Europe.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineVH-OJO From Slovakia, joined Jan 2000, 238 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 10 hours ago) and read 1978 times:

As far as filling a 737 for some of the planned European flights, once the airline establishes itself in the Slovak market, they will have no problem filling these planes with Slovak passengers alone. You would be surprised how hundreds of people (including myself) fly out of Vienna each day only because there is no direct flight out of BTS.

Part of the reason why VIE airport and Austrian Airlines are growing so rapidly had to do with the huge demand from the Slovak market whose passengers, until now, had to rely solely on flights out of VIE for their connections elswhere in Europe. If SkyEurope indeed starts the bus shuttle service from Vienna, you can expect a strong resistance by OS. It might even get really ugly. This has been afterall their territory for the past 10 years. But I wish SkyEurope the best of luck !


User currently offlineTeahan From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 5294 posts, RR: 61
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1947 times:

Thomas and VH-OJO,

Thank you both for your very detailed replies. I look forward to seeing SkyEurope develop further!

Jeremiah



Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2388 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1889 times:

It's out, SkyEurope will add flights from Bratislava to Berlin, Milan and Munich in September.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
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