Last year, Václav Havel Airport Prague handled 13,074,517 passengers

Last year, Václav Havel Airport Prague handled 13,074,517 passengers

Our largest airport has thus recorded a growth of 8.7% compared to last year. Passengers were most interested in travelling by air in July which, with 1.5 million handled passengers, has become, historically, the best month. On average, 35.7 thousand passengers passed through the gates of the airport each day. The recent positive trend of growing numbers among local travellers, for whom Prague was both the starting and the final destination, has also continued. Compared to last year, the number of local passengers has grown by 9.7%, exceeding the historical record of 2015.

"The 8.7% year-on-year growth of passengers was supported by a number of factors, such as the trend of using larger aircraft, higher load factors, the successful implementation of new routes and the addition of frequencies on existing routes. Last year, airlines were using the greatest number of large-body aircraft in the airport's history on their connections to Prague. In particular, the third quarter of the year saw significant growth of the load factor compared to last year. The airport was also able to launch a number of attractive long-haul destinations, such as 2 long-haul routes to China and a new long-haul route to Canada. The market itself has also created favourable conditions. Prague enjoys continued interest among European and World destinations, as confirmed by the year-on-year growth in the number of local passengers which, last year, was the highest in the airport's history. Thanks to the targeted motivation of air carriers, 19 new routes were launched last year, 9 new carriers entered the Czech market and we were able to strengthen operations outside peak times," Václav Řehoř, Czech Aeroholding Chairman of the Board of Directors, the single shareholder of Prague Airport, said.

In 2016, 64 air carriers operated Prague, offering regular scheduled connections to a total of 146 destinations. Traditionally, the majority of passengers departing from Václav Havel Airport Prague took flights around Europe, which contributed a total of 90.2% to overall operations. Compared to 2015, there were 8.2% more passengers handled on flights between Prague and other European destinations. Routes to North America (+53.5%), the Far East (+43.8%) and the Near East (+16%) have also experienced significant year-on-year growth. Conversely, flights to Africa, with 7.3% fewer passengers, experienced a year-on-year drop.

Just as in previous years, the most frequented passenger routes were between Prague and Great Britain (13% from the sum total of passengers), followed by destinations in Germany with a 9% share. Compared to last year, the number of passengers travelling to Italy grew (8% share), making it the third most popular country. Number 4 was taken by Russia with an 8.6% year-on-year growth of interest among Russian travellers (7.4% overall share) and, once again, France ranked fifth among the most popular countries with a 7.3% share of the overall volume of transported passengers. Routes between Prague and French destinations also saw a year-on-year growth, by a total of 12%.

The most popular airports were, traditionally, Paris (Charles de Gaulle) and Moscow (Sheremetyevo), followed by Amsterdam as the third most popular destination, a position it took from Frankfurt which remained fourth. The destination with the greatest increase in passenger numbers was London/Gatwick with nearly 41% year-on-year growth of passengers.

If we were to focus strictly on holiday destinations, last year Czechs flew most frequently to Dubai, Burgas and Heraklion. As a result of the current development trends and safety issues at individual destinations, the greatest increase was recorded on travels to Dubai (93 thousand more handled passengers than in 2015). Significant growth was also recorded on flights to destinations in Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Croatia. Conversely, the number of Czech tourists dropped on flights to Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Tunisia.

The month with the highest number of passengers passing through the airport gates was July, when a total of 1,454,704 passengers were serviced. 17 July was the busiest day with a total of 52,616 passengers handled. On average, Václav Havel Airport Prague handled 35,723 passengers and 374 take-offs and landings each day.

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