Checo77
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CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:10 am

CSA Czech Airlines will drop its direct flight to Sofia, Bulgaria, from Prague, effective 22.3.2012.

The route was operated by a 735 6x a week and was reduced ultimately to 3x weekly. Now, its cut completely.

Another route cut by OK, this is just terrible... Which route is next?

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:56 am

Wow... many cuts in the Balkans. First Belgrade then Skopje and now Sofia. I wonder how long their service to Zagreb lasts.
 
IndianicWorld
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:23 am

Unfortunately things don't seem to be looking all that great for OK.

It seems many carriers from Eastern Europe have not adapted that well to the EU rules, and the added competitive pressures from an open market.

So many carriers from the alkans and Eastern Europe have many challenges ahead, and it will be interesting to see the outcome.
 
TeamintheSky
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:25 am

I fear that not before too long OK might be suffering the same fate as MA. It would almost be more beneficial if the Eastern Bloc and Balkan countries created an LH group style airline that was managed by one outfit and could remain competitive.
Since 2010: DL, KL, AF, WX, IG, FR , FL, U2, AK, BA, OK, UX, VS, VN, K6, AT, US, AY, BE, EI, LG, AZ, 9W, SG, AA, JL, W6
 
PezySPU
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:11 am

Quoting ju068 (Reply 1):
I wonder how long their service to Zagreb lasts.

It would be sad to see that one gone, that's OK's first international route launched back in 1930.
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:36 am

Quoting PezySPU (Reply 4):
It would be sad to see that one gone, that's OK's first international route launched back in 1930.

Indeed, they have been flying to Belgrade since 1947 so it was a sad moment when they axed it.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:19 am

I don't see why OK couldn't create some sort of special partnership or merger with RO, as they are both in SkyTeam. They could easily split up various cities such as Sofia and generate a few synergies in the process. The problem as I see it is that there is not enough connecting traffic to some of these cities coupled with low O&D demand out of Prague. It really helps hubs like LHR/FRA/AMS/CDG/MUC to have all of the long haul flights from the States and other places to feed flights to what I would call secondary VFR markets in the East. Note that BEG, like SOF, also lost its connection to PRG recently. In the meantime, DL did not reinstate its nonstop from ATL to PRG next summer, so more feed will be going away (although the previous feed was obviously pretty cheap).
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:27 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 6):
Note that BEG, like SOF, also lost its connection to PRG recently.

I do not know how the loads were on their route to Sofia but Belgrade saw quite a lot of passengers. In 2009 their numbers rose by 40% and then in 2010 by 38%. In 2009 their average loadfactor to Belgrade was 85%, while in 2010 it went down to 76% (however the number of flights doubled).
I guess that the yield was problematic, most likely their cost structure did not allow them to make a profit on such a route operated by a mix of Atr-42/72s.
 
Flyingsottsman
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:41 am

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 2):
Unfortunately things don't seem to be looking all that great for OK.

It seems many carriers from Eastern Europe have not adapted that well to the EU rules, and the added competitive pressures from an open market.

So many carriers from the alkans and Eastern Europe have many challenges ahead, and it will be interesting to see the outcome.

Do you think this could be the affects of the fall of the wall 23 years ago? I know things are bad money wise in Europe now but when communisim collasped in 1989 they said it would be decades before the former Eastern Bloc country's ecomonies catch up to the West could this be the after effects of that? MA gone, Adria in trouble, Coatia Airlines in trouble ,Balkin went under years ago and now CSA looks to be not to good if they are axing parts of their network now.
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:54 am

All this talk of OK struggling comes as a surprise, if only because the Czech Republic seems to be doing relatively well (by European standards, at least) these days. Given the strength of their home market - in sharp contrast to the much more serious troubles faced by Hungary, the Baltic States, etc. - I would think they'll be able to survive. Surely this is just a strategic cut of a marginal route rather than a warning that this airline could soon fail?
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
konrad
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:32 pm

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 9):
Surely this is just a strategic cut of a marginal route rather than a warning that this airline could soon fail?

Last year CSA decided to leave the U.K. and Ireland market, selling its LHR slots. They have no service at all to the U.K. now. This is strange for a for a full service european carrier with the ambition of offering transfers to/from many eastern (CEE, Russia, Caucasus region) destinations. Now they are out of SOF event though there should be more connecting traffic from SOF to be served after MA went out of business. Looks like CSA is slowly canibalizing its network.

They need to turn the tables around soon.

[Edited 2012-02-06 05:34:39]
 
Fabo
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:13 pm

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 9):
the Czech Republic seems to be doing relatively well (by European standards, at least) these days. Given the strength of their home market - in sharp contrast to the much more serious troubles faced by Hungary, the Baltic States, etc.

While the Czech market is doing relatively well, it is also well covered from "just around the corner" - DRS in the northwest, NUE in the west, MUC in the soutwest, VIE in the southeast, KTW and KRK in the northeast, these airports all chop a good part of PRG catchment, but even in PRG, OK is one of the most expensive airlines, and it is often much cheaper to travel westward via FRA or MUC, eastward via VIE or WAW or (used to be) BUD...
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:05 pm

I spoke with my Slovak friend tonight and she told me that CSA will be axing their flights to Larnaca as well. I tried to find some more information on that but there was nothing. On wikipedia (yeah, I know) it writes that they will be discontinuing Athens and Oslo! Does anyone know anything about these three routes?
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:37 am

Quoting ju068 (Reply 12):
I spoke with my Slovak friend tonight and she told me that CSA will be axing their flights to Larnaca as well.

Ouch. I still remember the CTO desk they shared in Nicosia with Balkan. It would be a shame if they truly were pulling out of LCA. Could they not just make the flight seasonal? That said, something about these cuts may make sense over the longer term. I wonder if some carriers fail before they can fix themselves if only because they don't cut quickly and decisively enough.
 
Checo77
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:23 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 9):
All this talk of OK struggling comes as a surprise, if only because the Czech Republic seems to be doing relatively well (by European standards, at least) these days

CZE is doing relatively good, that is true. CSA has mergered with Prague Airport which is highly profitable. The profits of the airport help finance CSA loses and operations. That is why OK is safe, no bankrupcy is near now.

Quoting ju068 (Reply 12):
I spoke with my Slovak friend tonight and she told me that CSA will be axing their flights to Larnaca as well. I tried to find some more information on that but there was nothing. On wikipedia (yeah, I know) it writes that they will be discontinuing Athens and Oslo! Does anyone know anything about these three routes?

Really? Haven´t heard of that, I have a lot of friends working for OK (I used to work for them as well). Nobody told me nothing. The OSL rumor is there a long time already, I think this will not happen. I remeber that back when I worked for them (2009), flights to LCA were often replaced by a A321 due to high demand. Axing LCA sounds weird to me.

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:42 am

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 14):

Really? Haven´t heard of that, I have a lot of friends working for OK (I used to work for them as well). Nobody told me nothing. The OSL rumor is there a long time already, I think this will not happen. I remeber that back when I worked for them (2009), flights to LCA were often replaced by a A321 due to high demand. Axing LCA sounds weird to me.

I know that is why I was shocked, not to mention that there are a lot of Cypriots studying in Prague giving CSA a considerable O&D to serve.
I just tried to check the flights from Prague to Larnaca on Amadeus in April and there are no direct flights offered, I guess means that the route is indeed cut. That sucks...

I remember at one point they used to fly their A320s every night, then it became an A319 and then the frequencies were reduced and now the whole route is gone.

However for us in Cyprus this is really bad news, Malév went bankrupt where we lost 9 weekly flights out of Larnaca, now we lost CSA which means we are left with Lot, Aegean, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:14 am

Quoting ju068 (Reply 15):
However for us in Cyprus this is really bad news, Malév went bankrupt where we lost 9 weekly flights out of Larnaca, now we lost CSA which means we are left with Lot, Aegean, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.

Wouldn't this be an opportunity for CY to jump back in the LCA-PRG market, if the demand is truly there?
 
JU068
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:58 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 16):

Wouldn't this be an opportunity for CY to jump back in the LCA-PRG market, if the demand is truly there?

Ah Cyprus Airways, these guys couldn't use their ideal geographical location to their own benefit so I doubt they will recongnize the opportunity of CSA's withdrawal from Larnaca.

Same thing with Budapest, there are over 7,000 Hungarians living in Cyprus yet they left the market to the competition.
 
ZKCIF
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:23 am

Strange. For Vilnius flights, they are offering good prices, and their connections are decent. It would be very sad if they go but I believer they try to concentrate on what is profitable. Btw, what do these cuts mean? Will they sell/return to lessors some planes? It is so strange that they are combining 735s with 320series
 
icna05e
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:21 pm

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 14):
CSA has mergered with Prague Airport which is highly profitable. The profits of the airport help finance CSA loses and operations.

At risk of veering slightly off topic, WHAT?!? I wasn't aware of that, and I am surprised it is even allowed. At times where EU makes sure infrastructures and service managers are two separate entities (rail transport, energy providers and so on), how did they pull that off? I do think it is wrong, especially for an airport, to be into airlines. Is that how they drove Ryanair out of PRG?

CSA seems to be a good niche carrier, but I agree, with these moves and leaving the UK market that

Quoting konrad (Reply 10):
CSA is slowly canibalizing its network.
 
Checo77
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:49 pm

Quoting icna05e (Reply 19):
At risk of veering slightly off topic, WHAT?!? I wasn't aware of that, and I am surprised it is even allowed. At times where EU makes sure infrastructures and service managers are two separate entities (rail transport, energy providers and so on), how did they pull that off? I do think it is wrong, especially for an airport, to be into airlines. Is that how they drove Ryanair out of PRG?

No, FR left PRG because they wanted to have a discount on the airport fees, which PRG declined, saying "they are no LCC hub".

Yes, I was pretty shocked too, Czech media said its exactly the opposite procedure than its done in Europe. However, the airport is 100% gov owned and they have a considerable mayority in the airline, they can do whatever they want with it. Its not standart procedure, but not illegal as well.

Quoting ju068 (Reply 15):
I just tried to check the flights from Prague to Larnaca on Amadeus in April and there are no direct flights offered, I guess means that the route is indeed cut. That sucks...

Yes, just confrimed it. They axed LCA and ATH. OSL is still standing.

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
Checo77
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:52 pm

Quoting ZKCIF (Reply 18):
Btw, what do these cuts mean? Will they sell/return to lessors some planes? It is so strange that they are combining 735s with 320series

They say they are cutting un-profitable routes. The A320s are theirs, not leased.
CSA Czech Airlines operate only the A320 family, the B734s and 735s are operated by Czech Airlines Holidays, which is an individually run airline specializing in charter flights, plus they lease short-time to other airlines. For example, not they leased two planes to Air France to cope with the strike. So the airline itself technically does not use the combination of A320s and B735s.

Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
LIPZ
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:42 am

Seems like OK will axe the following destinations by S12

- Sofia
- Athens
- Skopje
- Larnaca
- Beirut
- Helsinki
- Oslo
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: CSA Czech Airlines To Drop Sofia, Bulgaria

Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:59 am

Quoting LIPZ (Reply 22):
Seems like OK will axe the following destinations by S12

- Sofia
- Athens
- Skopje
- Larnaca
- Beirut
- Helsinki
- Oslo

Yikes, that's A LOT of cuts. That sure doesn't leave them with an attractive hub at PRG .
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!