Pandemic makes short-haul flights cheaper for travelers from the Czech Republic

New data shows the drastic impact of the pandemic on short- and long-haul flight ticket prices from Prague and other Czech airports.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass
Published on 11.08.2021 12:10 (updated on 11.08.2021)

The pandemic has had a drastic impact on the prices of flight tickets from the Czech Republic, according to data compiled by Kiwi.com, one of the country’s leading travel ticket providers. While the cost of short-haul flights has plummeted in many cases, some long-haul destinations have seen huge price increases for flights from Prague.

With entry restrictions remaining unpredictable around the world, the data underlines the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global travel.

Although far-flung destinations such as Ankara, Marsa Alam, Mexico City and Dubai have remained popular this year thanks to their access to the sea, openness to tourism and status as “safe” destinations, Czech travelers have been hit by significant hikes in ticket prices to such exotic spots. Ankara saw massive increases of over 300 percent per ticket, followed by increases of 160 percent for Marsa Alam, 68 percent for Mexico City and 36 percent for Dubai.

Kiwi.com, the Brno-based company which published the data, said ticket price increases are being driven by decreases in airline capacities on the routes in question.

“For short- and medium-haul flights, low-cost airlines have, in some cases, stopped operating direct routes. With no alternative airline operating the same route, this can translate into dramatic increases in ticket prices,” said Eliška Řezníček Dočkalová, Director of Customer Experience at Kiwi.com. 

But it’s not all bad news for travelers from the Czech Republic. Many short-haul flights within Europe have seen equally large price decreases compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“On the positive side, some low-cost carriers have massively increased their capacities on intra-European routes and are now offering aggressive prices to stimulate demand," said Dočkalová.

The biggest price reductions were seen on flights from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, with tickets from Prague to Košice dropping by as much as 74%. Flights to Poland also saw significant price reductions: ticket prices on the Prague to Warsaw route dropped by 86%, and on the Prague to Krakow route by 71%.

The United Kingdom, long a popular destination for travelers from the Czech Republic, also saw dramatic reductions in ticket prices. Flights from Prague to Edinburgh dropped in price by 79%, and to London by 70%, including trips from both Prague and Brno airports. These price reductions are, according to Kiwi.com, being driven by the United Kingdom’s strict entry restrictions for travelers from the Czech Republic and many other countries.

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Previous research by Kiwi.com shows that Czech tourists have been increasingly tempted by island getaways during the pandemic. Spanish islands such as Mallorca proved more popular than city favourites such as Paris, Amsterdam and Rome, while Italian and Greek islands also saw increased demand.

Data from Prague’s Václav Havel Airport meanwhile showed passenger numbers more than doubling from May to June 2021, suggesting eagerness for the resumption of travel during the summer months.

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