China’s Hainan Airlines is halting regular direct flights from Beijing to
Prague starting in March, Czech Foreign Ministry officials have confirmed.
Hainan Airlines gave no reason for the disruption. But bilateral relations have cooled significantly in recent months following a series of diplomatic spats.
Earlier in January, Prague signed a sister city agreement with the Taiwanese capital Taipei – after having scrapped one with Beijing in a dispute over a clause therein regarding the “One China” policy in October.
President Miloš Zeman, who has pushed for closer ties with Beijing, says he will not attend China's “17+1” summit being in April unless the country is ready to sign new deals with Czech entrepreneurs on specific projects.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says administrative mistakes were the reason
why a Czech delegation led by Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman was
denied permission to fly from Moscow to Kazan this week.
The Czech delegation, which was to meet with Tatarstan officials and business leaders, cancelled the visit after waiting ten hours at Moscow airport and flew back to Prague.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Czech delegation had failed to comply with the customs regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union, adding that this was not the first time such problems had arisen.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has accepted the explanation saying he would initiate talks with the Russian side to make sure such problems do not reoccur.
He added however that, with a bit of goodwill on the Russian side, the administrative hurdle could have been overcome.
Prague Airport plans to boost its capacity up to 23 million annual
travellers by 2035, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Václav Řehoř
told members of the Chamber of Industry on Monday. This year the airport is
expected to handle 17.7 million passengers and is already encountering
The prerequisites for increasing the quantity of passengers that the airport can handle are the centralisation of security checks, as well as the construction of a parallel runway and two new terminal sections, which are to be completed by the year 2036.
Air traffic between the Czech Republic and Russia will continue to operate
without restrictions, and will even intensify next year, the Czech aviation
authorities reported after successfully resolving an air traffic dispute
The dispute pertaining to Russia’s decision to severely limit the number of Czech flights over Siberia resulted in the cancellation of several flights in June of this year as the two countries revoked flight permits for each other’s air carriers in a tit for tat move.
Both sides subsequently temporarily released operations until September to resolve the dispute.
Russia has long been one of the busiest destinations for traffic from the Czech Republic.
An incident in which a Smartwings flight from Greece failed to report an
engine shutdown and continued the flight to Prague for another 2 hours and
20 minutes on one engine has been assessed as pilot error, according to the
results of an internal investigation conducted by the carrier, as stated in
documents the company handed over to the Civil Aviation authority last
Smartwings originally denied that the pilots had violated safety regulations, saying that the crew had proceeded in accordance with the safety and operational procedures.
The Aviation Authority is still investigating the incident.
The Czech Republic’s Air Navigation Services have prepared for
investigators all the documents required to analyse a Smartwings flight in
which the pilots flew from Greece to Prague last week with only one
functioning engine, Czech Television reported. The documentation includes a
transcription of communication between dispatchers and the air crew, which
will reveal whether the team admitted to the engine malfunction.
The documents will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Accidents Investigation Institute. The materials are intended for investigators and will not be made public.
For the past five years one of the world’s oldest aircraft manufacturers, Aero Vodochody, has been developing a next generation jet trainer. Engineers say that one of its key selling points is its ability to train pilots from beginning to end, a new concept in how pilots are taught. To find out more, I visited the two sites where the ongoing tests are underway.
A passenger airplane operated by Czech budget airline Smartwings was forced
to make an emergency landing shortly after take-off at Budapest’s Ferenc
Liszt Airport on Thursday when its landing gear was damaged, a company
spokesperson told the Czech News Agency.
The Boeing 737-400 plane, which was heading to Hurghada in Egypt with 151 passengers and nine crew members on board, returned to Budapest and landed safely.