The police on Friday arrested a suspect in Plzeň allegedly behind an anonymous bomb threat. The 34-year-old man, who reportedly is suffering from psychiatric problems, called Czech Airlines on Friday morning, stating that terrorists armed with a bomb were on board a flight from Frankfurt to Prague’s Václav Havel airport. The Foreigners’ police as well as emergency crews and pyrotechnics experts were called to the scene. The plane landed at around 10:40 am; the identities of all 144 passengers were checked and investigators have conducted a search of the aircraft. The running of the airport was otherwise unaffected.
The Czech Transport Ministry will next year open access to its public transport timetables database, the website lupa.cz reported. The ministry has drafted legislation that will end the monopoly of the firm Chaps which has been administering the database since 2001. The ministry has come under criticism for allowing the monopoly to continue; the Czech anti-monopoly agency has also launched a probe into allegations the Chaps company allegedly abused its dominant position. The company runs the popular website IDOS which offers online searching for municipal, bus and train connections.
The Irish low-cost air carrier Ryanair will resume flights from Prague to Dublin and London, the airline said in a press release on Thursday. Beginning in April, Ryanair plans to operate five weekly connections between the Czech capital and Dublin; flights to and from London Stansted should be scheduled every day of the week. The company hopes to annually transport 180,000 passengers on the two connections. Ryanair stopped offering these connections in 2010, after Prague airport refused to lower its fees for the low-cost airline.
The opening of Prague’s Blanka Tunnel complex, may not take place next April as previously planned. Final stages of the project hit a roadblock on Wednesday when the firm overseeing construction said it needed money it was owed before continuing. City Hall responded with a revelation of its own: that the contract for the massive project was never valid.
Prague City Council has approved a change in the city zoning scheme, which would allow for the construction of a tram line connecting Vinohradská street with Wenceslas square and the city’s main train station. The plan to create such a tram line awaits a lengthy approval process. The City Assembly as well as Prague 1 have criticized a previous plan for the return of a tram line going down Wenceslas Square. Originally, a tram line went all the way down from the National Museum to the bottom of the square and then along the Na Příkopě street.
This week in business news: Prime Minister Rusnok voiced his support for the National Bank’s intervention against the crown; The national bank improves its prognosis for economic growth in 2014; Unexpectedly, the economy contracted in the third quarter by 0.5 percent; Bulgaria’s energy regulator has allowed ČEZ to keep its distribution license in the country; Ryanair will renew flights between Dublin and Prague; Amazon faces opposition from local residents; Petr Kellner’s PPF buys the O2 Arena in Prague.
Czech Airlines has announced it will renew direct flights from Prague to Bratislava as of December 2013. The airline is planning three flights a week in the winter months and double that number in the summer season. Direct flights between the Czech and Slovak capitals were curtailed in 2011 for financial reasons. The price of a return ticket for the hour-long flight will be close to 2,000 crowns.
The late fine for using Prague’s public transport system without a ticket is set to increase in January from CZK 1,000 to 1,500, City Hall officials decided on Tuesday. However, if offenders pay inspectors on the spot, or at the headquarters of the transport authority within 15 days, the current fine of CZK 800 will still apply.
The Prague metro’s special meeting train cars, meant for people looking for friends or partners, was not deemed a big success by most media outlets on the first weekend of the project. Most journalists who tried out the special cars on the A line said that the project was badly advertised and the cars were not marked, so most people did not know about their significance. Additionally, the a large percentage of people taking the A line, especially over the weekend, are tourists. Earlier, the transit authority, which refers to the cars as “communication carriages”, has backed down on its original plan to designate the carriages strictly for people looking for new partners.
The Czech machinery firm Škoda Transportation has won a contract to service trams in the Sardinian city of Cagliari, a spokeswoman for the company said. Under the five-year contract, worth 87 million crowns or 4.3 million US dollars, Škoda Transportation will provide complex servicing of the Italian city’s trams. In 2004, Škoda Transportation supplied nine low-floor tramways and 16 trolleybuses to the city.
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