New airline startup plans direct flights from Prague to New York and Los Angeles

Pragusa.One aims to connect Prague with eight destinations in the US and Asia, and its first flights are scheduled to take off from Dubrovnik next month.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 08.05.2021 14:10 (updated on 08.05.2021)

New aviation startup Pragusa.One has some big plans that aim to connect Prague with a number of international destinations.

By 2024, the company has announced that it will launch direct flights from Prague and Dubrovnik to New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Johannesburg, Chengdu, and Kuala Lumpur. The first of those flights, from Dubrovnik to the US destinations, is scheduled to take off this summer.

The London-based company announced earlier this week that it will launch flights between Dubrovnik and New York (at Newark's Liberty International) and Los Angeles from June 21, with ticket sales starting on May 21. Flights from Prague could soon follow.

While the company plans to launch service with its own Airbus A350 by 2024, the initial flights will be operated with a leased Airbus A330 and A340.

via Pragusa.One
via Pragusa.One

The concept for the airline is unique, as Pragusa.One will offer only premium economy service throughout its flights. A middle ground between first class and economy, the style will limit the number of seats on its planes to around 250; similar-sized carriers operating economy service would have around 400 available seats.

The name of the company refers not only to the connection between Prague and the United States, but also Ragusa, the former republic formed around the city of Dubrovnik in what is now Croatia.

But how serious is Pragusa.One? With just six seeks to go before its first flight takes off, the company's website consists of a single static page, it has no social media presence, and a single employee - its founder - listed on LinkedIn.

Representatives from Prague Airport, at least, have confirmed talks with the carrier.

"We are still in contact with the representatives [of Pragusa.One]," airport spokesperson Kateřina Pavlíková told iDnes.cz.

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"However, further development of the resumption or launch of long-distance connections will depend mainly on the resumption of inbound tourism and the launch of related follow-up services, which are crucial for it."

While an increasing number of direct flights between Prague and international locations in Asia and the United States is an attractive proposition for residents of the Czech Republic, especially in a post-pandemic world that has seen a large reduction in available routes, the reality of what Pragusa.One has in store remains to be seen.

Experts predict that it will take five years for air travel to get back to pre-pandemic levels, but Prague Airport is also discussing new routes from the Czech capital with a number of other carriers.

"Given the demand and strategies of the airlines, our priority in 2021 is to restore flights to key European destinations, from which we have selected a total of 45," says Pavlíková.

"We are in contact with airlines, and other routes around Europe could be renewed depending on the development of the current situation."

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