Charter flights to warm destinations now fly from Mošnov, three new regular flights to European destinations are under preparation

The Moravian-Silesian Region and the Letiště Ostrava company have seen the first successes in persuading airlines that the Mošnov airport and facilities are the ideal location for regular passenger flights and air freight. At the beginning of February, two months sooner than last year, the first “summer” charter flights departed Leoš Janáček airport in Ostrava. Three new flights to major European hubs are currently under preparation.

“We started this year’s summer season two months earlier than last year. Since the beginning of February, the SmartWings airline has been flying from Mošnov airport to Egypt, transporting passengers to the Marsa Alam and Hurghada destinations once a week. Residents of the Moravian-Silesian Region can therefore head off on a holiday from a travel agent in search of sun even in winter,” said General Director of Ostrava Airport Jaromír Radkovský. He is also expecting an excellent summer season this year, when the airport will offer travellers flights to 17 popular summer resort destinations in cooperation with travel agencies and airlines.

After ČSA stopped operating regular flights between Ostrava and Prague this year in mid-January, leaders of the Moravian-Silesian Region and Ostrava Airport management team began thoroughly negotiating flight connections from the region to Europe and the rest of the world for various regular flights from Mošnov airport.

“These flights will certainly not be directed to Prague, but to a different major European hub. We’re very close to opening regular air connections and finalising our contract with the airline that will connect Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region to the whole of Europe as well destinations in North America and Asia with only one connecting flight. We’re currently working on the contract’s details and the flight schedule. The airline will announce the new connections in May, and we expect that the first flights will take off in September this year,” said General Director of Ostrava Airport Jaromír Radkovský.

The Moravian-Silesian Region is preparing a public tender for regular and multiple daily connections to two key hubs in Western Europe. These will let clients easily and comfortably connect to key markets in Germany, France and Holland. They will also provide travellers from the region virtually worldwide connections to the Star Alliance.

“We’re currently meeting with potential air carriers in cooperation with Ostrava Airport under preliminary market research. Lawyers are preparing the complex process of a public contract for the European Commission. We expect to announce the tender in June this year to ensure that the first flights can take off no later than November 2019,” said Deputy Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region for Transport and Smart Region Jakub Unucka.

He added that past experience and consultations in development and negotiations in the real world of air carriers suggests that the region and the airport will be more successful than two years ago, when no airline was found to operate connections from the Leoš Janáček Airport in Ostrava to Amsterdam and Helsinki under a commitment to providing a public service. Although the region commits to compensating airlines for any operating losses, no bidders back then registered for the tender.

“We need regular direct flights to Western Europe and destinations with economies engaged in industries crucial for the further economic development of the Moravian-Silesian Region. This especially concerns IT technologies and services, logistics and light engineering. We need a connection to a major international hub that would improve access to our region. This is the only way of keeping current investors in the region and attracting new ones. We are therefore prepared to co-finance these flights under a commitment to providing a public service, much like trains and buses,“ explained Deputy Governor Jakub Unucka, adding that the development of cargo logistics is a topic on its own.

“Over the last two weeks I’ve been involved in four negotiations with parties potentially interested in constructing the hangar and cargo logistics. The region’s leadership is prepared to be most forthcoming to investors and offer plots of land with direct links to railway. Naturally, this is conditional on actual commencement and final approval within the deadline and provision of air services,“ added Deputy Governor Jakub Unucka.

Last year, Leoš Janáček Airport in Ostrava checked in a record-breaking number of passengers to 23 destinations. The total number of passengers was 377,936, which is 53,820 people (16.6%) more than in 2017. Cargo was also successful—aircraft carried a total of 5,448 tonnes of material.

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