Throughout the course of 2020, a total of 3,665,871 passengers passed through the gates of Václav Havel Airport Prague. The operation of the airport was unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the related restrictions on travel and the worldwide decline in demand for flying. As a result, 79% fewer passengers were handled in Prague compared to 2019. In January and February 2020, there were direct flights serviced from Prague to a total of 111 destinations around the world. In the following months, the offer was limited and continued changing based on the epidemiological situation. Passengers were offered flights to up to 87 destinations on an ongoing basis. Last year, the routes to the United Kingdom were, traditionally, the most popular, with the greatest number of passengers flying to/from London. The airport is ready to resume its operations this year and continues to focus to the measures aimed at protecting the health of both passengers and airport employees.
“The airport has prepared a strategy for the fastest possible re-launch of direct routes from Prague Airport. It primarily aims to support demand, on the basis of which airlines decide to resume operations of their routes. We cooperate with our partners and tourist boards, such as the CzechTourism, Prague City Tourism and the Central Bohemian Tourist Board, to support the incoming tourism sector. We negotiate with carriers the options of re-launching and launching air connections and provide them with up-to-date information on developments on the Czech market alongside other information. In addition, we have expanded our incentive program to motivate airlines to resume their routes and implemented a range of health-protective measures to ensure employee and passenger safety and their regaining of confidence in flying. With respect to demand for flying and the strategies of individual airlines, our 2021 priority is to resume flights to key European destinations,” Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
According to the published operating results, a total of 54,163 take-offs and landings (i.e. movements) were performed at Václav Havel Airport Prague last year. Compared to 2019, the number of movements decreased by 65%. Due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, January was the busiest month of 2020, during which a total of 1,051,028 passengers were handled, representing a historical record for the first month of the year. Most people passed through the gates of Prague Airport on Friday, January 3, 2020, when a total of 49,387 people travelled via Prague. For the first time in the airport’s history, the milestone of one million handled passengers was exceeded in the month of February.
A partial recovery of operations took place in the summer months in connection with the improving epidemiological situation and relaxed travel conditions. In July and August 2020, Prague Airport handled approximately 600,000 passengers, confirming the rapid resumption of travel demand.