New Route of the Day (1 February 2024): Smartwings between Prague and Abu Dhabi
Smartwings introduced regular charter flights between Prague and Abu Dhabi on Thursday 1 February. The 4,490-kilometre service will be maintained weekly with the 189-seat 737 MAX 8 aircraft and faces no competition. The flights are being operated on behalf of Czech tour operators, which are part of the DER Touristik Group. The city-pair was last served on a scheduled basis in January 2014 by Czech Airlines.
Flight QS4102 departs Prague at 10:20 local time, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 19:20 local time. The return service, operating as flight QS4103, takes off from the capital of the United Arab Emirate at 20:10 local time, touching back down in the Czech Republic at 23:55 local time.
What they said
Marek Kroutil, Tourism and Route Development Manager at Prague Airport, said: “The route development at Prague Airport is not only about the regular routes, but of course we also appreciate all the chartered flights. Especially when it is to such interesting and potential destinations like UAE in the Middle East. Congratulations to DER Touristik for this great achievement and good luck with your brand-new flights to the city of Abu Dhabi.”
Prague Airport sees strong leisure demand
There is growing demand for travel for leisure purposes by the Czech public. Notably, outbound tourism has surged to a level that is already 30% above pre-pandemic figures, according to Prague Airport. As a result, the demand for overseas vacations has seen a substantial uptick.
During W23/24 Prague Airport saw the introduction of a number of leisure destinations, operating on a seasonal charter basis. Recently, services to Santa Clara in Cuba were introduced, operated by World2Fly aircraft, while LOT Polish Airlines has based one Dreamliner in Prague over the winter season, operating charters to six destinations in the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa in collaboration with the Czech Republic’s main tour operator.
Prague Airport serving over 160 destinations
Prague Airport handled a total of over 13.8 million passengers in 2023, representing a 29% year-on-year increase. It marked a year of strong recovery for the airport, aided by the introduction of new long-haul flights to Seoul, Taipei, as well as charters to exotic far-away markets.
Combined, the airport offered flights to 167 destinations by 69 airlines, with over 30 new or resumed operations.
Prague Airport had initially planned to handle 12.5 million passengers in 2023, which has been exceeded by well over a million travellers. In 2024, Prague Airport anticipates welcoming 15.5 million travellers.
Currently, there are eight new destinations confirmed to launch from Prague Airport in 2024. They include Florence and Verona by Volotea, commencing 22 March, Tallinn by Eurowings from 31 March, Poznan by Ryanair from 1 April, Ponta Delgada and Brindisis by Smartwings from April 26 and 3 June respectively, as well as Izmir by SunExpress from 5 June and Chisinau by FlyOne from 24 June.