In 2017, Czech Aeroholding increased its operating profit before tax year-on-year by 14 percent to CZK 4.9 billion. The result was mainly contributed by Prague Airport, which has increased the number of checked-in passengers to more than 15 million, spokesman Marika Janoušková said on Wednesday.

“The year-on-year increase is mainly a reflection of the Group’s key asset, Prague Airport. Effective operating costs have also been helped, by which we have been able to increase wages for employees and continue with planned airport infrastructure repairs,” said Václav Řehoř, Chairman of the Board of Czech Aeroholding.

Prague Airport’s gross operating income increased from four billion to almost CZK 4.6 billion last year. A year-on-year rise in passenger numbers grew by 18 percent to 15.4 million, including the opening of a new business zone in Terminal 1, and a 15 percent increase in commercial activity.

Czech Aeroholding’s high profit from commercial activities is a frequent criticism of passengers, with some services many times more expensive than the passengers expect. This concerns in particular catering, expensive taxi services and high fees for short-term parking.

The operating profit from handling, i.e. passenger and aircraft handling at Prague Airport by Czech Airlines Handling (CSAH) of almost half of the airlines, increased by eight million to total of CZK 161 million. Another CZK 125 million was contributed by Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT), which provides technical services, repairs and maintenance of aircraft.

Aeroholding will end, merging with Prague Airport

The government decided in May that Czech Aeroholding would merge to one company with Prague Airport, which will become the successor company. This was justified by a simplification of the organizational structure and a saving, given the fact that some managing authorities would be doubled. The connection is valid from the beginning of this year. [full report]

Aeroholding was in the past a majority shareholder in Czech Airlines (CSA), which helped with the impending collapse. After selling the last share in ČSA to another state-owned company, Prisko, in 2016; however, according to the report of government material, the aeroholding department and the airport lost its point.

CSA has been ruled by a private carrier from this February, Travel Service, when it bought a state share from Priska and Korean Air. Travel Service owns 98 percent of the shares, and the remaining two percent is held by Česká pojišťovna.