Based on the results that are in for the first quarter of the year, Czech Airlines (CSA) has come in as the number two airline in Europe in terms of the punctuality of its flights.This rating comes from an evaluation of the 26 major carriers that are members of the Association of European Airlines (AEA). In March, CSA was in first place on the AEA list. With this high ranking, CSA surpassed almost all of its competitors with the ability of its flights to take off and arrive on schedule.
In recent years, Czech Airlines has been making a significant effort to try and prevent flight delays. “Departing and arriving on schedule is one of the key priorities for CSA,” said Jan Jan’k, CSA’s Vice President for Flight Operations. While in 2003, CSA ranked in 20th place on AEA’s flight punctuality list, in 2004 and 2005, the carrier managed to climb up into 6th place. Last year, CSA took 4th position for the first half of the year and, based on annual results for the entire year of 2006, the airline ended up in second place on the list, just as in this year’s first quarter.
In total, CSA completed 17,015 departures on its regular flights out of Prague and from its other foreign destinations during the first quarter of the year. CSA’s summer schedule will be offering flights to 104 destinations in 44 countries worldwide.
The airline itself only has control over certain delays. This can be done by, for example, speeding up the readying of an aircraft for its next flight if a previous arrival was late. However, the most frequent reasons for flight delays are circumstances beyond the control of the individual airline. These include over-crowded airspace or the limited capacity of the screening facilities for passengers at the airports. Poor weather conditions are also a frequent cause of delays. On the other hand, technical problems with CSA’s aircraft are responsible for only a miniscule number of its flight delays.
In the first quarter, CSA was able to significantly reduce the number of its late arrivals of luggage. Such delays averaged only 9.8 incidents per 1,000 passengers and placed CSA in 6th place out of 26 AEA member airlines in terms of the reliability of its luggage handling. These results also placed CSA way above the AEA average, which is 15.4 delayed pieces of luggage per 1,000 passengers. More than 85% of all delayed luggage is delivered to its owner within 48 hours.