Czech Airlines: Wikis

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Czech Airlines
České aerolinie
IATA
OK
ICAO
CSA
Callsign
CSA-LINES[1]
Founded 1923
Hubs Ruzyně Airport
Frequent flyer program OK Plus
Member lounge Crystal Lounge
Alliance SkyTeam
Fleet size 50 (+9 orders)
Destinations 69
Parent company Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic
Headquarters Prague, Czech Republic
Key people Radomír Lašák (CEO)
Website czechairlines.com

Czech Airlines j.s.c. (Czech: České aerolinie, a.s.), trading as Czech Airlines (abbreviation: ČSA), is the Czech national airline company with its head office on the grounds of Ruzyně Airport in Ruzyně, Prague. ČSA is historically notable as having been the second airline in the world to initiate successful jet airliner services (1957) and the first to regularly fly jet-only routes. Today, it operates scheduled services to 69 destinations in 41 countries, including most major European cities and to transit points in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. It also operates charter and cargo services.[2] Part of the tickets are sold through its subsidiary Click4Sky. In 2006 it carried over 5.5 million passengers and over 5.6 million in 2007. The airline runs a frequent flyer programme called "OK Plus" in reference to the airline's IATA designation, as well as the term of approval; OK also featured prominently in its previous livery. It is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.

Contents

History

An Ilyushin Il-12 of Czech Airlines at Paris Orly Airport in 1957
Boeing 737-400 in the airline's new colours

CSA was founded on 6 October 1923, by the Czechoslovak government as CSA ČeskoSlovenské Aerolinie. Twenty-three days later its first transport flight took place, flying between Prague and Bratislava. It operated only domestic services until its first international flight from Prague to Bratislava and on to Zagreb in 1930. After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 development of the airline was terminated.[2]

In February 1948, the Communist Party used the demission of right and center parties' ministers to take power in Czechoslovakia; later it suspended some western European and Middle East routes, and, also because of the embargo imposed by the West on the western-built aircraft spares etc., gradually replaced much of the fleet with Soviet-built airliners. The venerable Ilyushin Il-14 was even updated and built under licence in Czechoslovakia as the Avia Av-14.

In 1950, CSA became the world's first victim of a triple hijacking.[1] The three Czechoslovak airliners flown to the American air base in Erding, near Munich, stirred the world on both sides of the "burnt through" Iron Curtain and the case intensified the Cold war between East and West overnight. Three Douglas Dakota airliners landed in the morning of 24 March near Munich instead of at Prague. The first one, from Brno, at 08:20, the second one from Moravská Ostrava at 08:40 and the third one from Bratislava at 09:20. Two thirds of the people on board were involuntary passengers who later returned to Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak communist government commissioned a 'flight to freedom' book, stage play and film (all bearing the name "Kidnap to Erding") which celebrated the kidnapped returnees as heroes who had not allowed themselves to be swayed by promises of capitalist opulence. The non returnees who requested political asylum in the American zone of West Germany were, on the other hand, proclaimed criminals and the Prague regime vigorously requested their extradition - although in vain. The pilot from Brno Capt Josef Klesnil [2] an ex RAF Pilot, flew from Brno to Erding with a pistol at his head. "Mutiny In The Air Lanes", Time Magazine, Monday Apr 3rd 1950.

In 1957 CSA became the second of the world's airlines to fly jet services, (or third one, if one counts the disastrous first introduction of the de Havilland Comet airliner as a regular operation), taking delivery/putting in service the first Tupolev Tu-104A in 1957. CSA was the only airline other than Aeroflot to operate the Tu-104 which was the world's first successful jet airliner. Almost unknown is the fact that CSA was also the first airline anywhere to fly jet-only lines (other airlines used both jets and piston/turboprop aircraft simultaneously). The first transatlantic services started on 3 February 1962 with a flight to Havana,[2] using a Bristol Britannia turboprop leased from Cubana de Aviación. CSA's transatlantic flights were code-shared with Cuba's own services to Prague, and Cubana's crews provided initial training and assistance in the operation of the Britannias.

CSA Tupolev Tu-104 OK-LDA, 1958. This aircraft is displayed in the Prague Aviation Museum, Kbely
A CSA Airbus A320

The Britannia was replaced with long-range Ilyushin Il-18D turboprops in the late 1960s, and transatlantic routes were established to Montreal and New York, besides Havana. From that time on, CSA used Soviet-built aircraft, and modifications of them, for its extensive European and intercontinental services which totalled some 50 international and 15 domestic destinations. Apart from the Il-18D, other aircraft used included the short range Tupolev Tu-134, the long-range jet airliner Ilyushin Il-62 and the medium-range jet airliner Tu-154. As was the case in several other countries, the Il-62 was the first long-range jet airliner to be put into operation by CSA and the plane featured prominently in the airline's promotions. It had a range of 10,300 kms and for some time was operated concurrently with the Il-18D (range = 6,500 km). CSA had a fleet of 21 Il-62s in service over almost three decades (1969-1997), including 15 Il-62s and six (later model) Il-62Ms, of which 15 were registered under the OK designation and six were leased from Aeroflot. A CSA-registered Il-62 and three Il-62Ms were used as official Czech government transports between 1974 and 1996.

After absorbing the "heavier" part of the Slov-air operator and taking its Let L-410A Turbolet turboprop commuters into its fleet in the early 1970s, the ČSA partner Slov-air became the world's first airline whose captain, Ján Mičica, was slain at the controls by a hijacker, the event happening during a hijacking to Munich. The aircraft involved, OK-ADN is nowadays displayed in the open-air aircraft museum in Martin, Slovakia.

After the breakup of the Czechoslovak Federation the airline adopted its present name in May 1995. By the late 1990s, most of the Soviet aircraft were either retired or onsold to other airlines, and replaced with Western ones, such as the Boeing 737 and A310, Airbus A320, and short-range ATR aircraft.[citation needed] CSA became a full member of the SkyTeam alliance on 18 October 2000. The airline is owned by the Czech Ministry of Finance (56.92%), Czech Consolidation Agency (34.59%) and other Czech institutions. It has 5,440 employees (at March 2007).[2]

Destinations

Czech Airlines operate 32 monopoly routes from Prague Airport, including three domestic routes to Brno, Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, alongside with the feeding routes from Slovak cities Košice, Žilina and Bratislava. These 32 routes represent about 40% of total flights and just over 30% of total capacity. On 27 other routes, representing around 40% of flights, the airline faces direct competition from one other carrier, while on 8 major European routes (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome and Thessaloniki) the airline faces two competitors face-on.

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Codeshare Agreements

Besides those with fellow SkyTeam member airlines, CSA codeshares with the following (as at November 2009):

Fleet

A Czech Airlines Airbus A321 landing at Salzburg Airport, Austria. (2007)
A Czech Airlines ATR 42-500 landing at Zagreb Airport, Croatia. (2009)
A Czech Airlines ATR 72-202 takes off from Ruzyně Airport, Czech Republic. (2006)
A Czech Airlines Boeing 737-500 landing at Ruzyně Airport, Czech Republic. (2009)

The Czech Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (at 19 October 2009):[3]

CSA Czech Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In
Service
Orders Passengers
(Business/Economy)
Notes
Airbus A310-300 2 0 206 (18/188) Long Haul
Airbus A319-100 7 9 135
Airbus A320-200 8 0 162
Airbus A321-200 2 0 212
ATR 42-300 1 0 46 To be phased out
ATR 42-500 7 0 46 Leased from Air Contractors
1 in SkyTeam livery
ATR 72-202 4 0 64
Boeing 737-400 6

1

0 144

162

Boeing 737-500 10 0 108
Saab 340 2 0 33 Operated by Central Connect Airlines
Total 50 9

At 20 June 2009, the average age of the Czech Airlines fleet is 9.4 years ([4]).

Inflight services

Czech Airlines offers some buy on board service on some flights in addition to free service.[5][6]

Charter flights

In June 2007, CSA signed a contract with Exim Tours, the largest Czech travel agency, extending their contract for another three years. Under the agreement, CSA will continue to provide air travel services to Exim Tours' clients heading to destinations such as Varadero in Cuba, La Isla Margarita in Venezuela, San Andres and Providencia island in Colombia, La Romana in the Dominican Republic, as well as to destinations in Egypt, El Salvador, Tunisia and Greece.

Foreign tour operators, as well as sports teams and companies, use Czech Airlines’ charter flights. The share of flights for foreign clients, compared with the total number of Czech Airlines charter flights, is around 40 percent.

Czech Airlines charter flights carried 797,299 passengers last year.

Head office

Head office of Czech Airlines in Ruzyně, Prague

Czech Airlines has its head office, the APC Building,[7] on the grounds of Ruzyně Airport in Ruzyně, Prague.[8] On 30 December 2009 Czech announced that it will sell its head office to the airport for 607 Kč million.[9]

References

  1. ^ ICAO Doc. 8585 Edition 145
  2. ^ a b c d Flight International 3 April 2007
  3. ^ Amateur CSA Czech Airlines Fleet
  4. ^ http://www.airfleets.net/ageflotte/CSA.htm]
  5. ^ "Inflight Menu." Czech Airlines. Retrieved on 7 March 2009.
  6. ^ "12. 12. 2008 - Czech Airlines to Expand the Options to Purchase Additional Services." Czech Airlines. 12 December 2008. Retrieved on 7 March 2009.
  7. ^ "The Settlement of Land Relations between Czech Airlines and the Prague Airport Authority to Increase the Value of Both Companies Prior to their Privatisation." Czech Airlines. 22 August 2008. Retrieved on 15 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Imprint." Czech Airlines. Retrieved on 4 February 2010.
  9. ^ Heijmans, Philip. "Czech Airlines sells headquarters to Prague Airport." The Prague Post. 8 January 2010. Retrieved on 15 February 2010.

External links


Simple English

Sometimes called the CSA, for other uses see CSA
File:CSA building
Head office of Czech Airlines

Czech Airlines was formed as Czechoslovak State Airlines on 6 October 1923. This was when the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were one country.

The company started flying domestically (only inside Czechoslovakia) in 1924. In 1930 they made their first foreign flight.

CSA stopped flying between 1938 and 1945 when the country was occupied by Germany.

When Czechoslovakia split into two countries all of the Czechoslovak State Airlines stayed in the Czech Republic and became Czech Airlines. That is why Czech Airline's logo says CSA : Czech Airlines


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