The endless hours spent on an airplane and stressful transitions could end, at least for some destinations. The Czech Republic is negotiating with airlines about possible direct flights to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Bangkok, as head of Ruzyne Airport Václav Řehoř told Lidové Noviny (LN). In the case of Thailand, conclusion of the agreement is nearing – the first passengers could use the new line the following year.
The Czechs would not have to transit to Thailand via Dubai or Moscow. The country is close to an agreement with the low-cost airliner Air Asia for a direct line to Bangkok. “We are conducting more detailed discussions. Air Asia has even written on its website that it has selected Prague among the European destinations,” said head of the Ruzyně airport in Prague, Václav Řehoř, to LN.
The frequency of the flight is not yet decided, but according to Řehoř, once a day would be ideal. “As far as the implementation of this line is concerned, we would be happy to launch it in the autumn of next year. The final decision, however, is on airlines, whether the direct flights to Prague will be profitable,” added the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Czech Aeroholding and its subsidiary, Prague Airport.
Thailand is a popular destination for the Czechs – there are about 50,000 people flying over every year, whether attracted by the sea, monuments or martial arts. The direct line could be both attractive and cost-saving. “It would concern low-cost flights, so prices will not be high. On the other hand, you cannot expect any business class. The line could also be interesting because one can continue with other low-cost flights from Bangkok. It would be a very good connection to Southeast Asia,” Řehoř explains.
The news would also be welcomed by travel agencies. “The easier the flight is, the more people will decide on a holiday in Thailand,” Jan Popez of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Czech Republic commented.
Changes could be even more massive. There are also direct connections to Tokyo, Los Angeles or Hong Kong in the game.
“We are trying to attract American or Canadian companies. We already have Delta or American Airlines, but we are also dealing with others such as United Airlines. We are interested in strengthening lines to New York. We would like to get a direct flight to Chicago or Los Angeles,” said the head of the Ruzyne airport, who is currently trying to find out how many people travel between these cities and Prague, but they have to transit.
As for Asia, long-term cooperation has been developing, for example, with India. The middle class is relatively wealthy and a boom is expected in the aviation market. Other areas are also interesting. “We are now working on direct flights to Tokyo, Bangkok, Taipei or Hong Kong. For some of them, such as Tokyo, airlines test the attractiveness of the line by charter flights,” stated Řehoř.