Prague, 26 January 2023
Following the example of other international airports, for the second time in a row, Prague Airport has recognised the best airlines of the past year. The title of the Fastest Growing Airline was awarded to the domestic airline of Smartwings. The Best Performing Airline in terms of traffic was Finnair. The title of Top Sustainable Airline complemented the two former categories, being won by easyJet. Emirates also received an award for the Best Airline Marketing Campaign with Prague Airport.
“It has been confirmed that our decision last year to recognise the best airlines was the right move. This is a standard procedure applied by international airports for their partners. We believe that with these awards we also motivate carriers to further grow at Václav Havel Airport Prague. At the same time, through the Top Sustainable Airline category, we also motivate carriers to sustainable and transparent business conduct, which is a part of our adopted ESG strategy,” Jiří Pos, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said about the awards.
The award recognising the greatest year-on-year increase in passenger numbers, “Fastest Growing Airline at Prague Airport 2022”, was presented by Prague Airport to the air carrier that achieved the highest year-on-year increase in the total number of transported passengers compared to the previous calendar year (2021), and thus contributed the most to the resumption and the development of air connections at Václav Havel Airport Prague.
“We are pleased that we managed to win this award for the second year in a row. Last year, we doubled the number of passengers transported to 5.2 million, reaching 93% of the pre-Covid level. I consider this a great success and I want to sincerely thank all our employees and business partners for such an achievement. I believe that we will remain the largest air carrier at Václav Havel Airport Prague and will continue to be an important player and contributor within the tourism sector,” Roman Vik, Member of the Board and CEO of Smartwings, commented.
The title of the most efficient carrier in terms of traffic, “Best Performing Airline at Prague Airport 2022”, factors in the key operational indicators, alongside the volume performance of carriers. Only carriers that completed at least 100 aircraft movements from July to December last year were evaluated. This corresponds to traffic of about two flights per week.
“We are proud and honoured to receive this award. The year 2022, especially the summer, was operationally challenging, but Finnair was well prepared for the travel demand to pick up. By working together with our partners such as Prague Airport, we succeeded to be one of the most punctual airlines in Europe. Prague is an important part of our network, and we will be serving this route with added frequencies during the upcoming summer season,” Gabriela Hiitola, Vice President Operations Control at Finnair, noted.
Top Sustainable Airline
The “Top Sustainable Airline at Prague Airport 2022” category comprises three criteria: noise and emissions of aircraft operated at Václav Havel Airport Prague, alongside the overall approach, commitments, and activities of airlines in the field of sustainability.
Jane Ashton, Director of Sustainability at easyJet, commented: “We are very pleased to be named ‘Top Sustainable Airline at Prague Airport 2022’ and commend Prague Airport for their detailed and transparent criteria. At easyJet, we are working very hard to continue to make our operations more sustainable, which includes reducing our carbon emissions right now through fleet renewal and efficient operations as well as having published our ambitious and detailed roadmap to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is supported by continuing to eliminate single-use plastic items (11.5 million items in FY22 alone) and recycling, which includes introducing new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles.”
As part of the assessment of the best way of using the marketing support in co-operation with Prague Airport and the „Best Airline Marketing Campaign with Prague Airport 2022“ title awarding process, the quality of jointly implemented campaigns in the past year was evaluated by an expert committee. The expert committee comprised five members who are marketing professionals in the partner tourism agencies of CzechTourism and Prague City Tourism, the Etnetera/Motion advertising agency, and Corporate and Airline Marketing departments of Prague Airport. The evaluation included 27 campaigns of air carriers that effectively used the possibility of marketing co-operation. The promotion of the Prague Airport brand, the attractiveness of the visuals, and the clarity of the message were among the main campaign evaluation criteria.
“We are pleased to have received this award for our campaign in support of Dubai which ran in autumn of last year, and we appreciate the support of our communication activities and promo campaigns among the Czech audience by our long-term partner Prague Airport. Dubai is an ever-changing destination that offers endless possibilities for all types of travellers, and we are happy that it is one of the most popular destinations with Czech tourists,” Bořivoj Trejbal, Area Manager Emirates Czech Republic, said.
2022 Passenger Numbers
Last year, Prague Airport handled 10,734,880 passengers. In 2021, merely 4.4 million people were handled during the entire year. The number of take-offs and landings climbed to over 100 thousand, which is 35 percent less than in the pre-Covid 2019 year.
According to Jiří Vyskoč, Executive Director of Aviation Business Development, the strongest day in terms of the number of handled passengers was 1st July. “Over 51 thousand passengers passed through the airport that day, while the average daily number exceeded 29 thousand. On the same day, the airport also recorded the most aircraft movements, i.e., take-offs and landings, namely 409. The strongest month was July 2022. This year, we expect 12.5 million transported passengers.”
This year, Prague Airport expects to see an extension of operations by Delta Air Lines during the summer season. Icelandair will launch a service to Keflavík, offering passengers another alternative of connecting to North America. There are also plans to open a route to the popular city of Bilbao in Spain.
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