As travel bans gradually ease, European airlines announce their summer plans. Ryanair, Wizz Air to offer flights from and to Prague again.
Ryanair, the largest low-cost airline in Europe, plans to restart more than 20 flights from July 1 - some perhaps as early as the end of June. According to the Prague Airport's website, these should include several holiday destinations - such as Mallorca, Corfu, Crete or Croatia's Zadar. There are also plans to resume flights to London, Rome, Marseille or Madrid. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Ryanair operated more than 30 flights from Prague.
From the beginning of July, Wizz Air will offer flights to Albania's capital, Tirana. It will also launch new flights between Prague and Bulgaria's Varna. Czech airline Smartwings will also operate on this route during the summer, and is planning flights to Burgas. Then there are flights to Sofia with Bulgaria Air. This is one of only two flights from Prague that haven't stopped operating since the beginning of the pandemic, the other being to Minsk.
Smartwings has already renewed its flights to Croatia's Split. In July, the company should start flying to Greece and other countries. Several flights should be resumed by ČSA, which also belongs to the Smartwings Group. However, Smartwings Group is now facing financial problems due to the coronavirus crisis, and is asking the Czech government for a loan or a guarantee for a commercial loan.
Prague Airport is slowly coming back to life. Last year, it reached a record of 17,8 million passengers. This April, it recorded only 5 031 passengers - representing a year-on-year decrease of 99,6%. While the traffic has been slightly picking up since May, it will probably take several years to return to pre-coronavirus level.