Czech Airline’s Ground Operations Division, which provides handling services at Prague Airport, last year handled over 50,000 flights of its own and of third-parties, 60 per cent of the total passenger and aircraft handling. CSA provided handling services in Prague to 5.3 million of the airline’s own passengers and 1.6 million passengers of other carriers.
CSA handles both the airline’s own aircraft, and the flights of other carriers operating a Prague route. Most of them are large European carriers with regular service. But the clients of CSA handling also include smaller aircraft of a private clientele and special one-time flights, such as those of foreign government officials or the flights of large-capacity cargo aircraft.
CSA’s clients include its alliance partners - the members of the SkyTeam Alliance (Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Korean Airlines, Aeroflot), as well as other airlines, such as Swiss, SN Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Malév, JAT, SAS, Finnair, and many other carriers with both regular and irregular operations. CSA’s newest handling client is the Italian company Meridiana, since December 2006.
CSA’s ground personnel, who participate in handling passengers and aircraft, are regularly trained in line with international regulations. “Well-trained staff and high-quality ground equipment, complying with the strictest criteria, are a guarantee of high-quality handling services, which are appreciated both by CSA passengers and our contractual handling partners at Prague Airport,” said Peter Jusko, Vice-President for Ground Operations. In spite of that, CSA continuously looks for ways to improve. Recently, for example, it has started to conclude agreements on service level guarantees, which define all criteria and contain also motivational elements. “The satisfaction of our passengers and business partners is our primary goal,” added Peter Jusko.
The passenger handling personnel are in a direct contact with clients in all spheres of CSA customer services at Prague Airport. Among other things, they provide for handling passengers and their baggage at check-in counters. At VIP lounges, they ensure the comfort of Business Class passengers. At departure gates, they are responsible for timely and safe passenger boarding. To passengers who only use Prague as a transfer point, they provide the necessary assistance. During non-standard operational situations, they arrange for substitute routing for cancelled flights, hotel accommodation, or the payment of financial compensation.
In aircraft handling, the following three main priorities are always respected and strictly observed: safety, quality of services, and the departure of the aircraft in line with the flight schedule. From arrival until the departure of the aircraft to the appointed destination, employees execute the necessary tasks directly on the apron. Upon arrival, they provide boarding bridges or stairs and unload baggage. Before the aircraft departs, they attend to the cleaning of the aircraft; refuelling as requested by the Captain; loading baggage, goods, and mail, while ensuring the precise balancing of the aircraft; and finally push the aircraft away from the departure gate. In winter, they ensure the safe defrosting of the aircraft surface.