Blerg wrote:I remember a time when OK was a respected and reliable carrier people loved to fly on. Today I don't even know who and what they are, where they fly and what kind of service they offer. They have become quite bland. What's their strategy anyway?
MettP wrote:Blerg wrote:I remember a time when OK was a respected and reliable carrier people loved to fly on. Today I don't even know who and what they are, where they fly and what kind of service they offer. They have become quite bland. What's their strategy anyway?
The strategy is generally to fly frequently between Prague and main European cities, offering better schedule than low-cost competitors for P2P traffic.
They went through hard times after the financial crisis and after years of decline and changes of owners they were purchased by Smartwings Group in 2018. At first it didn't look well, Smartwings Group for example transferred rights for most routes between Prague and Russia under the Smartwings airline (QS), because OK had very few planes under their ACMI. But recently the situation improved, 6 A220s and 3 A321XLRs were ordered for OK, intending to resume Transatlantic flights and they started to make profits again. There was also a plan for leasing a few A320s this year, the first one arrived in February (OK-HEU), but obviously all this expansion is now halted and future relatively uncertain. On the other hand the whole group is healthy in financial terms, with no debts and there is a chance that Smartwings will get generous compensation for the problems with 737 MAX, they had almost 40 of them on order and it very negatively affected their expansion plans.
SeanM1997 wrote:If anyone has got timings for this route - please can you DM me on twitter @SeanM1997. A link for info would be helpful too. Thanks
cedarjet wrote:Sorry to learn the CSA A330 isn’t staying. I love a little airline with a long haul route. Was a good effort, shame it had to end.
MettP wrote:cedarjet wrote:Sorry to learn the CSA A330 isn’t staying. I love a little airline with a long haul route. Was a good effort, shame it had to end.
It needed some major service works, which CSA wanted the lessor to do, but KE weren't willing to, so they decided to return the aircraft. It is a pity, the route was very profitable, but of course in today's situation it would take lot of time to reach that profits again. But it is possible that OK will lease some long-haul aircraft when it makes sense again. Or in 2025 they will get that ordered A321XLRs, by that time aviation will hopefully be in shape again...
MettP wrote:Yes, today they are definitely focused on P2P. Their only long-haul flight was PRG-ICN with their sole A333 (remaining from the period when they were partially owned by KE), which generated some transfer passengers, but it won't be resumed and they are returning the A333 to KE. ATR42 were phased out last year, together with the termination of PRG-BTS and PRG-OSR, which weren't profitable.
Otherwise they have 6 A319s, 5 ATR72s and a single B738 (leased from QS). And that single "new" A320, which should have gotten some peers hadn't it been for current crisis. Hard to say how they will emerge, the question is if there is space for a small regional P2P airline in Central Europe, with the competition from LO, LH and low-cost airlines. But considering how popular is Prague as a destination, the strategy makes sense and they should be able to fill even the Transatlantic flights with P2P passengers, using the relatively small A321XLRs. They were talking about JFK, BOS and YUL as potential destinations.
MettP wrote:Theoretically yes, A321XLR's range is 4 700 nautical miles and PRG-ICN is 4450 nautical miles. But they are definitely meant to fly to the USA/Canada. If OK want to resume ICN, they will likely lease a widebody. The supply of used aircrafts will be plentiful now...
Blerg wrote:So what kind of product do they offer? Buy on board?
MettP wrote:Blerg wrote:So what kind of product do they offer? Buy on board?
Mainly yes. But they have one “speciality”, concretely that even with the cheapest economy ticket, one can pre-order the so-called “gourmet menu” for 14€ and is then treated as a business class customer service-wise. Which means getting a very good hot meal, salad, dessert, drinks including alcoholic and all that served on porcelain and in glass. Unfortunately very few people know about this possibility and complain about OK service, because for free you get only water, but the price for this menu is very reasonable and I don’t know any airline which would offer such high-quality service in economy. It is a pity that OK don’t promote it more, they are really incapable in marketing...
A picture for illustration:
Blerg wrote:... So do they have a business class product or is it all economy?
SueD wrote:Berg why worry it’s not like they offer anything much beyond Prague and it will be a crappy Smartwings/Travel Service 737 anyway .
It pretty much O And D in both directions and a recovery of a slot pair each day in the current down turn . And probably replaces their Gatwick Travel Service operation .
Come the upturn in eighteen months or so they will get priced out again that’s for sure .
Can’t remember them even operating multiple dailies into Heathrow .
They main partners are AF/KL oh and Aeroflot
Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe
Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days
Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit
Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior
Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft
Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials
Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions
Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin
Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon
Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos
Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft
Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries
Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground
Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos