Václav Havel Airport sees growth in first quarter

New destinations and larger capacity on routes has led to more cleared passengers

Airport operator Letiště Praha’s results for the first quarter of 2018 were in line with the projected growth in passenger numbers, estimated at around 10 percent for the full year.

For the first three months, Václav Havel Airport t saw a total of 3,057,100 passengers, while for the same period in 2017 it was over 338,000 fewer. This represents a year-on-year increase of 12.4 percent.

Direct regular service to Qatar; more connections to popular European destinations such as Barcelona, Budapest and Madrid; and increased capacity on already existing lines such as London / Stansted, Rome and Paris contributed to the growth.

The most visited country by number of passengers was Britain, where approximately every seventh passenger was heading. Next was, as in the previous year, Italy followed by Russia. The biggest increase in interest was registered by Spain, with a year-on-year increase of over 63 percent.

The most popular destination in the first three months of the year was Moscow, second was Amsterdam and last year's top destination of Paris / Charles de Gaulle moved to third place.

The biggest increases for destinations were for Budapest, up 18.4 percent; London Stansted Airport, up 45.8 percent and Barcelona, which was up 69 percent compared to first quarter of last year.

A year-on-year increase was also recorded also in the cargo transport for the first quarter of 2018. The transported cargo volume increased by 8.3 percent to over 19,000 tons. The growth was mainly influenced by the addition of long-distance lines.

The new figures build on the record set in 2017, which was the airport’s 80th anniversary. Václav Havel Airport Prague for the full year handled a total of 15,415,001 passengers, an increase of 17.9 percent compared to 2016. On average, 42,233 passengers per day passed through Prague’s international airport.

The airport operator plans to invest in increasing the airport’s capacity, as it is reaching its limit. By 2020, the airport operator will spend Kč 2.3 billion to increase the number of check-in aisles, check-in desks and security control posts, according to previous reports.

Václav Havel Airport Prague opened April 5, 1937, as Prague Ruzyně Airport. Right after former president Václav Havel's death on Dec. 18, 2011, an online petition organized by Slovak film director Fero Fenič asked the government and the Parliament to rename the airport. The name change took place Oct. 5, 2012, on what would have been Havel's 76th birthday.

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