Czech Aviation Industry Worst Hit In Europe With Fall of Up To 90% In Sales
Czech Airlines has faced a significant decline in sales of an estimated 90% in 2020, compared to 2019. The IATA report from December 2020 shows a 78% fall in the number of air passengers in the Czech Republic, equating to a USD 1.7 billion drop in revenue. The number of passengers across the entire Smartwings group, including Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and the Czech Republic, has fallen by a similar figure of 78% in 2020. Photo: Václav Havel Airport Prague, Czech Republic. Credit: By Karelj – Own work, under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Czech Rep., Jan 13 (BD) – Czech Airlines, one of the five oldest airlines in the world and a member of the Smartwings Group, has faced a significant decline in sales, an estimated 90% fall in 2020 compared to 2019. The entire Smartwings group including Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and the Czech Republic has carried around 78% fewer passengers in 2020.
Amid the disruption caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, aviation was one of the most severely affected sectors of all. The Smartwings group carried approximately 1.3 million passengers on regular and charter flights in 2019, down from more than 8 million in 2019.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the aviation market in the Czech Republic has been the European market worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions. The IATA report from December 2020 shows a 78% drop in passengers in the Czech Republic, causing a fall in revenue of USD 1.7 billion. The Smartwings Group operated only 13,500 flights in 2020.
“At the beginning of last year, the Smartwings Group was aiming for the best result in its history. Instead, we had to face an unexpected crisis in the air transport industry. Due to the drastic decline in demand caused by extraordinary circumstances, we were forced to implement very drastic austerity measures and take many major steps,” said Roman Vik, Board Member and CEO of Smartwings, as reported by Seznam Zpravy.
Following the complete interruption of aviation in Spring 2020, operations did not resume to even a fifth of the original level during the remainder of the year. Until the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, both Smartwings and Czech Airlines were profitable companies.
“Now the key to returning to travel is successfully vaccinating the population. Our goal is to be a major player in the European air transport market and a competitive airline. We still believe we can do it,” added Vik.
Despite the effects of the pandemic on travel, Smartwings Group serves the most destinations from the Czech Republic, and is the largest operator at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport. In addition to regular and charter flights under the Smartwings and Czech Airlines brands, it also provides a number of special flights for various important organizations such as the UN and NATO-funded flights for peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and Mali.