NEW YORK -- Big changes are afoot for Czech Airlines, which joined
the Sky Team alliance in March and reopened service at Kennedy
Airport there in April after operating exclusively from Newark for
the last five years.
The airline offers daily flights from Kennedy and three flights
per week from Newark; all service is on Airbus 310-300s.
"We moved from Kennedy to Newark in 1996 when we had a code
share with Continental. But this was not such a strong alliance;
there was no joint marketing involved," said president Miroslav
He added this is not the case with Sky Team partner Delta, whose
New York hub is Kennedy.
"Delta will be promoting Czech Airlines to its corporate clients
as the only carrier that goes nonstop between the U.S. and the
Czech Republic," Belovsky said.
"We serve 18 destinations in eastern Europe out of Prague, some
twice a day, so Delta's corporate clients have the option of a
seamless transfer if they are doing business in that part of the
The executive is not worried about expanding too fast.
"Our load factor was 86% last year; we needed to increase
flights," he said.
Another advantage for the carrier is the five-year renovation of
Prague's Ruzyne Airport.
The overhaul, begun in 2000, already has transformed Ruzyne from
a modest airport into one of Europe's more appealing transportation