New Route of the Day (30 September 2021): SmartWings between Prague and London LHR
On 30 September, SmartWings began 4-weekly service on the 1,050-kilometre routes between Prague and London LHR. This is the first time that SmartWings has served Heathrow but not the first time it as operated flights to London. It has previously operated flights to Gatwick. The inaugural Heathrow service (flight number QS 1000 operated by a Boeing 737-800, registration OK-TVR) departed Prague at 09:53 and touched down at Heathrow one hour and 44 minutes later at 10:37 local time. The return flight (QS 1001) departed London at 12:31 and landed back in the Czech Republic one hour and 28 minutes later at 14:59 local time, according to flightradar24.com. Flights are currently set to operate on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Frequency increases to daily with the start of the winter season on 31 October.
Direct competition comes from British Airways, who currently operate a daily service between the two airports. This will increase to 15-weekly in November according to Cirium Data and Analytics schedule information. Indirect competition will come from easyJet’s 2-weekly service to Prague from London LTN, BA CityFlyer’s 3-weekly service from London LCY (which resume at the end of October) and Ryanair’s 16-weekly service from London STN.
Flag-carrier CSA Czech Airlines, which has been majority owned by SmartWings since 2017, used to operate the Heathrow route 2-daily until the end of October 2010. It then made a brief return to the market last year when it began daily flights on 25 June 2020 which lasted until 13 September 2020, and then again from 30 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, according to Cirium Data and Analytics.
Selling 48 destinations from Prague
According to the airline’s on-line booking tool, SmartWings is offering scheduled flights from Prague to 48 destinations spread across 19 countries. Greece has the largest choice of destinations with 11, followed by Spain with nine, Russia with five and Italy four. The two Polish destinations listed, Katowice and Warsaw, are not currently bookable. Flights to Copenhagen, Kiev KBP, Moscow SVO, Paris CDG and Stockholm are sold on the airline’s website but are currently operated by CSA Czech Airlines. SmartWings also offers flights from Brno and Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Bratislava in Slovakia. A weekly Dubai service is set to start from the Slovakian capital from 24 October.