LH982
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:44 pm

hippogryphe wrote:
LH982 wrote:

That is true but (a) it is not marketed as such, certainly not by Lufthansa, who are entirely invisible locally*; (b) fares remain quite high, even with whatever subsidy they are getting; and (c) at least before the change in timetable and increase to 2x daily there were issues with the times. (I booked it twice inbound from America and missed the short connection in the morning bank twice, although Munich is not exactly the most inefficient or difficult hub to deal with.) It's a good start but is not quite hitting the sweet spot in my opinion.

*The LH/BMI relationship is odd. In BRQ, at least as of last year, they couldn't print LH boarding passes, which meant a visit to the LH customer support center during your connection, which always entails an argument with the gorgons who guard it and refuse to believe their kiosks don't work. They also have monolingual British crews and safety recordings, which strike a very weird note on a flight between Germany and the Czech Republic.



I've used it twice and would agree that it works, but it's not great. It would be much better on a Cityline CRJ or even one of the various LH Group Dash 8s. The prices can be okay depending where you start from, but LCC prices they're not.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:16 pm

Brno airport in the news today:

- Passenger numbers for the year estimated to come in at 460,000, 10% more than last year, which was, however, the worst year for passenger numbers in 7 years.
- Summer passenger traffic still dominates, especially to Crete, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Egypt seen as getting stronger as fear declines (a bit surprisingly as a Czech female tourist was brutally murdered there by an extremist just this spring).
- Some money being poured into improvements: more parking, updating of concessions, etc.
- Pushing for still more charter traffic
- Rumoured new destinations are, again, Rome, Lviv, Barcelona, and Milan (which have the sound of having been more or less randomly chosen from a hat without any particular strategic framework)

https://brno.idnes.cz/letiste-brno-nabi ... -zpravy_vh
https://brnensky.denik.cz/podnikani/let ... 71122.html

(second link has quite a large photo gallery of the terminal, for those interested in such things)
 
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Slash787
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:22 pm

Make it well connected to the City Centre
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:00 pm

hippogryphe wrote:
- Rumoured new destinations are, again, Rome, Lviv, Barcelona, and Milan (which have the sound of having been more or less randomly chosen from a hat without any particular strategic framework)


I don't know about that strategic framework, but except for Lviv I can see Ryanair operating them all. Of course that'll be Rome Ciampino, Milan Bergamo and maybe Barcelona Girona or Reus, but who cares? Ryanair doesn't need a strategic framework, they create their own demand. Make a flight cheap enough and people will fly it no matter where it goes. Could also be Wizzair by the way, they play by the same rules as Ryanair and are also a candidate for these routes.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:34 am

Could be. Ryanair served Barcelona about a decade back, didn't last. Might be different this time, might not. I really don't see the purpose of the Italian service at all – there is no massive local business or touristic connection to Italy apart from the Dolomites in winter and some Adriatic resorts in summer. (Italians love Central Europe and are one of the most conspicuous nationalities in tourism in Vienna and Prague but I doubt they are clamouring to visit Brno.) Lviv could work, there are a lot of emigrés here with family connections in western Ukraine. That's the only proposed route based on any existing local market conditions. But of course this could all be newspaper gossip – we shall see soon enough.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:07 pm

Following on their cancellation of Brno-Eindhoven, after seven years Wizz Air is now ending Brno-Luton as well. This leaves just the Ryanair Stansted and BMI Munich flights for regularly scheduled traffic.

https://brno.idnes.cz/letiste-brno-zrus ... -zpravy_dh
 
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JakubH
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:50 am

hippogryphe wrote:
Following on their cancellation of Brno-Eindhoven, after seven years Wizz Air is now ending Brno-Luton as well. This leaves just the Ryanair Stansted and BMI Munich flights for regularly scheduled traffic.

https://brno.idnes.cz/letiste-brno-zrus ... -zpravy_dh


Perhaps not a surprise given their name recognition and Luton's appeal. But it seems the potential for growth is there - especially in light of the growing yields on BRQ-MUC (though still not nearly high enough - I hope an adjustment in schedule will follow).

What are examples of cities with <500,000 inhabitants and a regularly-served airport in the proximity?
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:53 am

JakubH wrote:
hippogryphe wrote:
Following on their cancellation of Brno-Eindhoven, after seven years Wizz Air is now ending Brno-Luton as well. This leaves just the Ryanair Stansted and BMI Munich flights for regularly scheduled traffic.

https://brno.idnes.cz/letiste-brno-zrus ... -zpravy_dh


Perhaps not a surprise given their name recognition and Luton's appeal. But it seems the potential for growth is there - especially in light of the growing yields on BRQ-MUC (though still not nearly high enough - I hope an adjustment in schedule will follow).

What are examples of cities with <500,000 inhabitants and a regularly-served airport in the proximity?


Rochester, NY is about the same size as Brno and nearly the same distance from Buffalo as Brno is from Vienna, though BUF is no VIE.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:59 am

SCQ83 wrote:
Btw Ryanair has started flights to Pardubice which is really close to PRG. Are those subsidised?

Of course they are. Heavily subsidized. A real waste of money.

JakubH wrote:
5 destinations are not unthinkable, though more likely from Ostrava, I might say. ZRH, MUC, AMS CDG and BRU are the best choices, with a potential for DME one day, I think.

Oh god, how many more failed destinations do provincial buffoons need to get a reality check and finally stop hemorrhaging public funds into wet dreams of having unrealistic number of flights?
BRQ is too close to VIE and BTS, KTW is simply too close to Ostrava, has many times more populous catchment area and far more socially mobile population. Ostrava is an economic basket case. End of story. Nothing to see here, but let's defy economic reality and dump even more taxpayer's money to non-viable black hole called regional airports.
 
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JakubH
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:37 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
SCQ83 wrote:
Btw Ryanair has started flights to Pardubice which is really close to PRG. Are those subsidised?

Of course they are. Heavily subsidized. A real waste of money.

JakubH wrote:
5 destinations are not unthinkable, though more likely from Ostrava, I might say. ZRH, MUC, AMS CDG and BRU are the best choices, with a potential for DME one day, I think.

Oh god, how many more failed destinations do provincial buffoons need to get a reality check and finally stop hemorrhaging public funds into wet dreams of having unrealistic number of flights?
BRQ is too close to VIE and BTS, KTW is simply too close to Ostrava, has many times more populous catchment area and far more socially mobile population. Ostrava is an economic basket case. End of story. Nothing to see here, but let's defy economic reality and dump even more taxpayer's money to non-viable black hole called regional airports.

Nobody is saying the solution is taxpayer money. I only wonder why you feel the need to be so abrasive in a casual conversation.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:53 pm

Of course, it will be taxpayers' money. If there were money to be earned, the flights would already operate for years.
I suppose you follow the never-ending saga in OSR? Those ridiculous tender proceedings for service to/from OSR no airline even bothers to bid? The ship has sailed 15 years ago with development of KTW, yet the regional government is stubborn in its denial about socioeconomic and geographic reality and keeps throwing obscene money at FR (or QS) instead of, for example, providing decent bus connection between downtown Ostrava and KTW.

I am surprised by the sudden withdrawal of W6 from Brno.
 
USAOZ
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:29 am

JakubH wrote:
Assuming that the intended goal is to grow a small airport into a financially sustainable operation (aka it is not forever subsidized by the government), what are some of the case studies/best practices from around the world for doing so?

More specifically, multi-year efforts to do so have been seen in the Czech Republic where the capital airport (Prague, PRG) is growing at close to 20% YoY yet the two main regional airports (Brno, BRQ and Ostrava, OSR) are trying to stay above water and are largely dependent on their respective region's financial support. Since PRG is decidedly the key international hub in the country and reachable from Brno and Ostrava in about 4 hours, how great is the potential of these two smaller airports to succeed in a thriving economy? For businessmen working in either of the two smaller cities, existing connectivity is not optimal, especially for one-day trips, and for foreign firms, this may be a disincentive to consider otherwise thriving and affordable regions for investment.

I suppose the best-case scenario would be to have regular flights in the morning and evening to/from one or more of the following: MUC, FRA, WAV, AMS/CDG, ZRH and (ultimately) LHR from at least one of the two airports (aside from more leisurely seasonal traffic to southern and other destinations). Can this ever be achieved?

Are there things the government/airport operators can do on their own to make the respective regional airports work? Or is this purely a question of regional economic performance and proximity of existing alternatives that determine success of a small airport like the two ones in question?

Quick characteristics:
BRQ serves a region of about 1-1.5 million and the second-largest Czech city (400,000) with growing biotech, computing and manufacturing sectors. It's also a university town and relatively popular with tourists. VIE is about 100 miles away and accessible by bus or train (in around 3 hours). BMI regional flies to MUC 1-2x daily, Ryanair 6x weekly to STN and Wizzair 3x weekly to LTN. 2016 traffic was about 210,000 PX on regular and 210,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. BRQ is about 25 minutes away from downtown Brno.

OSR serves a region of about 1 million and the third-largest Czech city (300,000) with car manufacturing, heavy industry and energy companies. Also a university city with a markedly improving quality of life, but a limited tourist appeal. Nearest airports are KTW (1.5 hours away by car), KRK (2 hours away, but much less convenient) and VIE (4 hours by train/car/bus). CSA flies 3x daily to PRG, Ryanair 4x weekly to STN and 2x weekly to BGY (Bergamo). 2016 traffic was 191,000 PX on regular flights and 47,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. OSR is about 30 minutes away from downtown Ostrava.
according to goggle maps Brno Airport to Prague Airport is a little over 2 hours drive.

At certain busy times of the year, fares into PRG must be high.

Perhaps try to get an airline to fly to BRQ & combine fares with car rental, after establishing a 2nd tier car hire operation.

From experience, know that in new Zealand, many people drive up to 6 hours from CHC to ZQN & New Zealand has many cheap 2nd tier car hire companies. New Zealand seems to basically allow unrestricted used cars to come in from Japan & they make up most of the fleets of 2nd tier hire car companies. 2 hours drive does not seem that much to me, especially if cheaper than flying into PRG, once take into account cost of car hire.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:08 am

USAOZ wrote:
according to goggle maps Brno Airport to Prague Airport is a little over 2 hours drive.

At certain busy times of the year, fares into PRG must be high.

Perhaps try to get an airline to fly to BRQ & combine fares with car rental, after establishing a 2nd tier car hire operation.


Not sure how this would work in reality, however for such scenario DRS would be an obvious choice, because it is closer and the highway is much better than the notoriously jammed D1 connecting Prague and Brno.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:50 am

USAOZ wrote:
JakubH wrote:
Assuming that the intended goal is to grow a small airport into a financially sustainable operation (aka it is not forever subsidized by the government), what are some of the case studies/best practices from around the world for doing so?

More specifically, multi-year efforts to do so have been seen in the Czech Republic where the capital airport (Prague, PRG) is growing at close to 20% YoY yet the two main regional airports (Brno, BRQ and Ostrava, OSR) are trying to stay above water and are largely dependent on their respective region's financial support. Since PRG is decidedly the key international hub in the country and reachable from Brno and Ostrava in about 4 hours, how great is the potential of these two smaller airports to succeed in a thriving economy? For businessmen working in either of the two smaller cities, existing connectivity is not optimal, especially for one-day trips, and for foreign firms, this may be a disincentive to consider otherwise thriving and affordable regions for investment.

I suppose the best-case scenario would be to have regular flights in the morning and evening to/from one or more of the following: MUC, FRA, WAV, AMS/CDG, ZRH and (ultimately) LHR from at least one of the two airports (aside from more leisurely seasonal traffic to southern and other destinations). Can this ever be achieved?

Are there things the government/airport operators can do on their own to make the respective regional airports work? Or is this purely a question of regional economic performance and proximity of existing alternatives that determine success of a small airport like the two ones in question?

Quick characteristics:
BRQ serves a region of about 1-1.5 million and the second-largest Czech city (400,000) with growing biotech, computing and manufacturing sectors. It's also a university town and relatively popular with tourists. VIE is about 100 miles away and accessible by bus or train (in around 3 hours). BMI regional flies to MUC 1-2x daily, Ryanair 6x weekly to STN and Wizzair 3x weekly to LTN. 2016 traffic was about 210,000 PX on regular and 210,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. BRQ is about 25 minutes away from downtown Brno.

OSR serves a region of about 1 million and the third-largest Czech city (300,000) with car manufacturing, heavy industry and energy companies. Also a university city with a markedly improving quality of life, but a limited tourist appeal. Nearest airports are KTW (1.5 hours away by car), KRK (2 hours away, but much less convenient) and VIE (4 hours by train/car/bus). CSA flies 3x daily to PRG, Ryanair 4x weekly to STN and 2x weekly to BGY (Bergamo). 2016 traffic was 191,000 PX on regular flights and 47,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. OSR is about 30 minutes away from downtown Ostrava.
according to goggle maps Brno Airport to Prague Airport is a little over 2 hours drive.

At certain busy times of the year, fares into PRG must be high.

Perhaps try to get an airline to fly to BRQ & combine fares with car rental, after establishing a 2nd tier car hire operation.

From experience, know that in new Zealand, many people drive up to 6 hours from CHC to ZQN & New Zealand has many cheap 2nd tier car hire companies. New Zealand seems to basically allow unrestricted used cars to come in from Japan & they make up most of the fleets of 2nd tier hire car companies. 2 hours drive does not seem that much to me, especially if cheaper than flying into PRG, once take into account cost of car hire.


It's certainly more than two hours, even assuming traffic is OK, which it rarely is. Prague airport is also on the diametrically opposite side of the city from Brno. No prudent person would budget fewer than three hours unless it was the middle of the night. Transport connections are not bad but you are still looking at 2.5-3 hours minimum with a change or two, possibly including schlepping luggage in and out of the metro. VIE is much closer and has a direct bus which is very good, but fares there are usually much higher than from PRG. In any case, long multimodal transfers in buses, trains, etc. (not to mention the train/bus stations in Brno are slums of the first order) are not calculated to make a very good impression on business travellers, especially powerful ones who might be thinking of setting up operations in the city.
 
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holcakker
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:08 am

There you go, Blue Air will create a Czech subsidiary to start 7 routes from Brno with a B-737-500.
https://brnodaily.cz/2017/12/15/breaking-news/brno-turany-airport-blue-air-opens-seven-new-routes/
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:57 am

There has been some discussion on Facebook about fact that, though five of the Blue Air routes out of BRQ were planned to start at the end of March, that is in the next two and a half weeks, if you look on the Blue Air website, they do not appear on their route map or destination list (nor indeed on those of the Brno airport itself) and are not available to book from the reservations page. The topic has been entirely absent from the newspapers and no marketing campaign has been launched. No one locally really trusts the airport authorities or local officials when they speak on airport affairs, so the general feeling is that the thing is now quietly Not Happening. Any insight?
 
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JakubH
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:33 pm

hippogryphe wrote:
There has been some discussion on Facebook about fact that, though five of the Blue Air routes out of BRQ were planned to start at the end of March, that is in the next two and a half weeks, if you look on the Blue Air website, they do not appear on their route map or destination list (nor indeed on those of the Brno airport itself) and are not available to book from the reservations page. The topic has been entirely absent from the newspapers and no marketing campaign has been launched. No one locally really trusts the airport authorities or local officials when they speak on airport affairs, so the general feeling is that the thing is now quietly Not Happening. Any insight?

This is unlikely to start, even with local government still suggesting otherwise.
Source: https://ekonomika.idnes.cz/brno-letani- ... doprava_jn

IMO, what BRQ needs is a 3/4-daily feeder to 1 or 2 major European hubs (e.g. MUC and AMS, even on a DHC 8) so that travelers have enough redundancy built-in and become comfortable with using BRQ over a longer road/rail commute to VIE and PRG. The market potential is there, but BMI's performance on the route (under LH) has been incredibly bad - last-minute cancellations, delays etc. are slowly but surely teaching business passengers in Brno to avoid flying out of the airport. For most of Moravia and even Silesia, BRQ would be the easiest airport to fly out of for both intra-European and long-haul trips, and I am stunned the city has been so unsuccessful at expanding regular traffic at the airport.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:35 am

JakubH wrote:
hippogryphe wrote:
There has been some discussion on Facebook about fact that, though five of the Blue Air routes out of BRQ were planned to start at the end of March, that is in the next two and a half weeks, if you look on the Blue Air website, they do not appear on their route map or destination list (nor indeed on those of the Brno airport itself) and are not available to book from the reservations page. The topic has been entirely absent from the newspapers and no marketing campaign has been launched. No one locally really trusts the airport authorities or local officials when they speak on airport affairs, so the general feeling is that the thing is now quietly Not Happening. Any insight?

This is unlikely to start, even with local government still suggesting otherwise.
Source: https://ekonomika.idnes.cz/brno-letani- ... doprava_jn

IMO, what BRQ needs is a 3/4-daily feeder to 1 or 2 major European hubs (e.g. MUC and AMS, even on a DHC 8) so that travelers have enough redundancy built-in and become comfortable with using BRQ over a longer road/rail commute to VIE and PRG. The market potential is there, but BMI's performance on the route (under LH) has been incredibly bad - last-minute cancellations, delays etc. are slowly but surely teaching business passengers in Brno to avoid flying out of the airport. For most of Moravia and even Silesia, BRQ would be the easiest airport to fly out of for both intra-European and long-haul trips, and I am stunned the city has been so unsuccessful at expanding regular traffic at the airport.


Yes, coincidentally or not, there appeared an article in the newspaper Brněnský Deník Rovnost very shortly after I posted, carrying the same information. https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 80312.html

It sounds dead to me, though the local officials seem to have no idea what is happening.

South Moravian governor Bohumil Šimek promised the new flights last November. Negotiations with the Romanian airline Blue Air, which was supposed to operate the flights, have stopped. Airline management has stopped communicating. "I wrote a letter to the director, asking him to say whether he wanted to work with us or not. He has said nothing in the meantime. I also asked a commercial attaché at the Bucharest embassy to try and contact him. I regard this as the final possibility,“ said the governor.

Brno mayor Petr Vokřál is also not satisfied with communication. "I don't consider negotiations finished yet, but the contract should already have been signed before Christmas. The question is, how trustworthy the airline is,“ he said.


Sounds like no one knows anything. I don't know anything about Blue Air (wrote one commenter on the news article, "I wouldn't set foot on a Romanian airliner if they paid me."), so it is hard to tell whether the local officials misread the likelihood of the situation and announced too soon, or whether the airline is shady or failing or what exactly. What a mess.

I agree totally with you about what sort of service would be optimal for the city, and am on record here as a skeptic of the Blue Air deal from the start. I don't know whether the local officials have considered this strategy or not, i.e. whether it is realistically unattainable now or whether they have just been trying to attain other, dafter things instead.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Thu May 17, 2018 9:55 am

The airport authorities in Bratislava may have the answer to the question in the thread title; there has been a flurry of stories in the Brno media about the growth there at the apparent expense of Brno.

According to the latest statistics released on May 11, during the first four months of this year, 506,000 passengers passed through Bratislava’s Letisko M. R. Štefánika Airport, some 21% more than in the same period last year.

In April 2018 alone, the airport saw 152,721 passengers and had a total of 2,453 inbound and outbound flights. This was the second consecutive month that the airport broke its all-time record for number of passengers accommodated.

To compare it with the situation in Brno, around 470,000 people passed through Tuřany last year, compared to circa 418,000 in 2016. Its record for number of passengers, however, came in 2011 (557,952 passengers). In the recent years, the number of passengers has never come close to this level.


Currently, 17 airlines – Ryanair, Pobeda, flydubai, Czech Airlines, Wizz Air, SmartWings, Travel Service, Air Cairo, ABS Jets, AirExplore, Air – Transport Europe, EHC Service, Elite Jet, Go2Sky, JetAge, Tatra Jet, and Georgian Airways – are operating flights from Bratislava.

Meanwhile, the Region of South Moravia announced an end to co-operation with the Romanian airline Blue Air, which was to provide new flights from Brno, on March 26, 2018. (See previous Brno Daily article, ‘Blue Air-South Moravia deal falls through’, for more information.)


Source: https://brnodaily.cz/2018/05/17/breakin ... os-turany/
And in Czech: https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 80516.html and http://www.ceskatelevize.cz/ct24/domaci ... rna-letaji

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