Trans-Atlantic flights from Prague to New York to restart this spring

Tickets are now on sale for non-stop flights from Prague to New York, while the resumption of direct flights to Dublin and London was recently announced.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.10.2021 08:00 (updated on 04.10.2021) Time to read: 2 minutes

The Covid pandemic has seen families and friends separated by restrictions on international travel around the world. The US has imposed particularly tough entry restrictions, starting in March 2020 when former President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Yet with a reopening of US borders to foreign visitors announced last month, the resumption of direct trans-Atlantic flights is finally within sight. Although no direct routes have been formally reinstated so far, United Airlines are already selling tickets for direct flights from Prague to New York starting on May 27, 2022.

Prague Airport said negotiations are now underway with airlines about the possibility of reintroducing flights to the US. Still, a spokesperson for the airport said United Airlines’ eagerness to sell tickets is a positive sign of things to come.

“The connection is already being sold by the airline, which is a good sign for the market. However, what happens next will depend on demand, and the development of the epidemiological situation,” said Klára Divíšková to Lidovky.cz.

On September 21, the US announced that vaccinated foreign nationals would be allowed into the country starting in November this year. The exact conditions for people entering the country have not yet been made public, including which vaccines will be accepted by the US authorities and what kind of test will be required for passengers entering the country.

Before the pandemic, three American airlines operated direct flights to Prague: Delta Air Lines (Prague to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport), American Airlines (to Philadelphia), and United Airlines (to New York’s Newark Airport). At present, flights to the US are possible with connections in major airports such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris or Madrid.

The resumption of direct flights to the US would be a signal of a return to normality after the widespread closures inflicted by the pandemic. Shoots of recovery are also evident in Aer Lingus’s decision to reinstate its route between Prague and Dublin from mid-October, with flights to run three times a week. Smartwings has meanwhile launched a route from Prague to London Heathrow, currently running four times a week with plans to increase to daily operations in the winter.

Prague Airport has said that sixteen new or resumed routes should be available from Prague over the autumn and winter.

Nearly 700,000 passengers passed through the airport in August, a 102 percent year-on-year increase. Landings and take-offs meanwhile increased by 40 percent compared to last year. Numbers are still as much as 65 percent lower than in pre-pandemic times, however, suggesting global air travel has some way to go before normality is fully restored.

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