Flights from Brno (Czech Republic) to Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Brussels and Lviv will be launched next year by Romanian carrier Blue Air, which will provide one aircraft with a capacity of 120 passengers (probably a Boeing 737-500). The project will cost around 120 million Czech crowns in the first year. Brno Airport has been experiencing a drop in regular flights in recent months. Representatives of the region and the city have long been trying to change that situation.
The new routes from Brno should be introduced from the summer 2018 flight schedule, at the end of March: three flights a week to Milan and Brussels, the other routes (Rome, Barcelona and Lviv) probably twice a week.
The South Moravia region (where Brno is located) expects to join the city and buy half of South Moravian Development Company. The company will then establish a joint venture with Romanian carrier Blue Air, named Blue Air Moravia Transportation, and will own 35 percent of the new venture, the remainder being owned by the Romanian airline. Costs in the second year of operation sum up to 40 million Czech crowns; in the third year, the project should break even.
“It is a historical chance for the region, which will help further growth in the region. The approved budget for next year is ready to CZK 60 million, which is significantly less than the amount invested in the development of air links in other regions,” said the Governor of Moravia Bohumil Šimek.
According to him, the route to Lviv will be attractive for tourists and Ukrainians working in the Czech Republic. From the Barcelona region, a route has already been flown in the past, but that was to the airport in Girona, now it will be the main airport in Barcelona. The Romanian carrier that will provide the connection is, according to Šimek, one of the fast-growing companies, which is already transporting more people than, for example, Czech Airlines.
The project with the participation of the South Moravian Development Company and low-cost carrier Blue Air as a strategic partner envisages an increase in the number of passengers from the Brno airport by about 130,000 passengers within one year from now. Only three low-cost carriers have submitted a competing offer to Blue Air. With the founding of a company based on the principle of a private investor, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition has already agreed on the development of airlines from Brno Airport.
The return ticket price, according to Šimek, will be between four and six thousand Czech crowns. According to him, the flights to Split and Dubrovnik will be from June to September, the remaining flights will be all year round.