More than one and a half million passengers will also be cleared by Ruzyne airport this year. In recent years, however, not only the number of passengers but also the number of long-haul flights on which large aircraft fly, which were rare in Prague recently, are growing. This has also increased the need for fast clearance, so the airport has modified the boarding bridges so that it can connect up to three machines at the same time.
Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague is suffering from two major ailments – poor transport connections with the center of Prague and an aging struggle for a new runway. Although both can be seen as obstacles to further airport growth, it is certainly not stagnant. Last year, though, the imaginary title of the largest airport in the Visegrad countries came as the number of checked-in passengers reduced below Warsaw’s Chopin airport, but this year it expects another period of significant growth, from last year´s 15.4 million to 17 million.
Ruzyne airport is experiencing rapid development, not only in the number of passengers but also in the lines. There are also the long-haul wide torso machines, including the largest passenger transport planes: Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300 flying from Dubai, and the Boeing 747-8 from Korea during the summer. Wide-range fighters fly to Prague from Qatar, China, and in the summer, also from the United States and Canada.
Clearance is sped up by the refurbished stall
When only two big planes turned into Prague a couple of years ago, it did not matter that the boarding of the passengers took about an hour – with the use of a single boarding bridge it could not be any faster. However, the airport responded to the rapid growth in the number of long-distance lines, adjusting the parking space to speed up the clearance. It is now possible to connect up to three boarding bridges to one aircraft, so the boarding time is shortened to about twenty minutes. They are also useful when there is no broad-band airplane in Ruzyne.
“It allows us to dispatch either one large aircraft or two smaller aircraft with a range of up to 36 meters,” said Tomáš Vláčil, Director of Terminal Operations.
The fact that Prague is flying more long-distance flights than in the past shows the numbers of checked-in passengers. “We have witnessed a thirty percent year-on-year increase,” said spokesperson Roman Pacvoň. In numbers, intercontinental flights carried in September a total of 981 thousand passengers. Last year, 758 thousand passengers were carried in the same month.
The news of the past summer season included American Airlines’ connection to Philadelphia. Emirates also contributed to the increase in the number of long-distance passengers, which strengthened their Prague-Dubai line for a second rotation.
Dreamliner takes over the scepter – even in Prague
Emirates is not the only Middle East airline to fly to Prague, but it had been the only one to send large aircraft. However, this is no longer the case. In the last week, Ruzyne has experienced a double premiere: two of them have landed – the unforgettable dreamliners, i.e. Boeing 787 machines. One has been newly deployed by Qatar Airways on the Doha-Prague route instead of the smaller Airbus A320, and the other will fly over the winter instead of the giant Boeing 747 on Korean Air from Seoul.
Boeing has developed Dreamliners in the past decade as a successor to its 767 type, and as the first machine to use more lightweight composite materials, Boeing puts emphasis on consumption and emissions. In recent years, Dreamliners have appeared in the fleet of a large part of the world’s largest airlines – from the European ones, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Norwegian and Polish LOT – but have yet to fly regularly.