Czech Airlines has again achieved the best on-time departure record in Europe. In the first quarter, the Airline came first in the on-time departure ranking of the 27 major airlines associated in the Association of European Airlines (AEA), defending its position as the market leader, which it first assumed last year. This prestigious result was achieved by the Airline in terms of the “on-time departures” parameter, which can be influenced by an airline to a greater extent than arrival statistics can be.
Whereas in 2003, Czech Airlines stood at around the 20th place in the AEA ranking, compiled according to the parameter “departures delayed by up to 15 minutes”, in 2004 and 2005 it came 6th. In 2006, the Airline ranked 4th at mid-year, and 2nd for the year as a whole. In mid-2007, Czech Airlines grabbed the highest position and maintained it for all of 2007, as well as for the first quarter of 2008. Departures delayed by up to 15 minutes are considered on-time departures, because a reserve of at least 15 minutes is planned for the times specified in a flight schedule, for taxiing before take-off or landing and for any delays during the flight.
Overall, Czech Airlines operated more than 17,250 departures from Prague and foreign destinations in the first quarter. Presently, i.e., during the summer flight schedule, Czech Airlines offers connections to 135 destinations in 48 countries. In the first quarter, Czech Airlines carried 1.1 million passengers, which represents a 2.9% year-on-year increase. In the first four months of the year, it carried 1.6 million passengers, which is a year-on-year increase of 2.7 percent.
Even as it concerns timely departures, an airline can only influence a portion of delays, for example, by speeding up the preparation of an aircraft for its next flight in the event of a delay of the previous flight. The most frequent causes of delays on departure is, however, crowded airspace, security checks at airports, or adverse weather.