Brno Airport Closed To Passengers Until May Amid Concerns Over Future
Following the Czech government’s decision to extend the state of emergency, regular flights from Brno to Milan Bergamo (twice a week), London Stansted (daily) and irregular seasonal flights to Egypt (Hurghada, Marsa Alam twice a week) are cancelled until April 30th, 2020, at the earliest. Photo credit: Brno Daily.
Brno, Apr 10 (BD) – International commercial passenger flights from Brno-Tuřany International Airport have been on hold since March. “With the government’s new protective measures against the coronavirus infection, all international passenger air transport ceased at our airport day-to-day, meaning a significant loss of income from both aviation and related non-aviation activities,” said Brno Airport spokesman Jakub Splavec.
The airport remains in service for regular and non-scheduled cargo flights, the Air Rescue Service and Czech Police, auxiliary flights to combat COVID-19, and general domestic aviation. “The airport is ready to accept any repatriation flights, diverted flights and emergency landings,” said Splavec.
Fewer Flights = Less Revenue From Both Aviation And Non-aviation Activities = Operating Losses Running Into Tens Of Millions Of Crowns
“We were hoping to be ready for the season to run like any other. Recruitment had started, seasonal workers were being sought, training underway etc. For us, this means that we have already made considerable investments to make this season successful. If the borders don’t open, these were all wasted investments,” explained Splavec. The European aviation industry has recently suffered from a series of external issues: Brexit; the grounding of Boeing 737 Maxes with the consequent impact on the capacity of European carriers; and ecological campaigns against unnecessary air travel. “It is clear that even if the restrictions are relaxed in early June, the impact on the aviation market will be felt worldwide. For example, this year’s July may become the worst in history, after last year’s record best,” added Splavec.
The coronavirus pandemic also creates problems for the long-term negotiations over new regular routes flying from Brno. Passenger interest in traveling from Brno was evidenced by a record 2019 summer, with 376,000 passengers. Brno Airport reported a year-on-year increase of 8.5%, 543,633 passengers across the whole of 2019.
In cooperation with the South Moravian Region, the City of Brno and partners, Brno Airport launched a project to enhance and promote the image of Brno as an attractive destination. One part of the project was data exchange and analytics with Brno-based fare aggregator and tech travel agency Kiwi.com. “Based on our continuous efforts, there was a lot of hope for new and longer-term cooperation. These negotiations are now affected by the postponement of all final decisions, and it is very likely that if the crisis lasts longer, we will have to start again from the beginning,” said Splavec.