Planes bound for Prague will no longer be landing at Ruzyně Airport; at midday Friday the airport was officially renamed Letiště Václava Havla Praha, or Václav Havel Airport Prague at a lavish ceremony in Terminal 2. Some 80,000 people signed a petition organised by the film producer Fero Fenič to rename the airport to honour the late former president, who died in December.
The Czech NGO Drop-In, which helps drug addicts fighting addiction, has cancelled a facility which had provided methadone for heroin users. The substance acts as a replacement for heroin, gradually reducing dependence. Drop-In had a centre on wheels – a bus – which provided the synthetic opiod for hundreds of users each day near Prague’s main station. But the project, only a month old, was opposed by Czech Railways as well as holders of the station’s lease.
Prague’s metro line A will be out of service throughout the upcoming extended weekend. The entire length of the “green line” from Depo Hostivař to Dejvice will be closed while switches are changed in the Náměstí Míru and Dejvická stations. The closure was planned for a period when many Praguers will be out of town, but will nonetheless affect an estimated 50,000 people. Special tram and bus lines will be in place, including an X-A tram line which will mirror the metro line.
The heads of the Prague transit authority are to meet on Monday to discuss the selection of the new director. The former head of the Public Transport Company (DPP), Vladimír Lich, was unexpectedly sacked in mid-August and was replaced by interim director Magdalena Češková. Neither Lich nor Češková are expected to be reappointed. DPP is the largest company controlled by Prague City Hall. The selection committee for the new chief will be made up of city hall and company representatives.
Prague transit authority sent out dozens of staffers to the streets of the capital on Friday to inform travellers of major changes to the transportation system, a day before they come into effect. The city-owned company will cut several tram and bus lines, move some transfer points and introduce cross-city bus lines. The authority plans to save up to 400 million crowns through the makeover which has however come under heavy criticism from the public and a number of NGOs.
Four Lufthansa flights between Prague and Frankfurt were cancelled on Friday due to a strike by the German carrier’s cabin staff. The strike began at 5 AM and lasted for eight hours. The four cancelled flights included two Prague-bound flights arriving at 9:05 and 11:25, and two Frankfurt-bound connections leaving at 9:50 and 12:10, a spokeswoman for Prague airport said. Lufthansa cancelled over 200 flights due to the strike.
The construction of a new elephant and hippo pavilion at Prague Zoo will cost more than originally expected: 519 million crowns instead of the original 431 originally agreed with the Skanska, the company in charge. The rise in the cost is tied to unforeseen construction costs as well as project-related analysis, Czech Radio’s Regina said.
Three streets in Prague’s Dolní Chabry district will be named after Czech hockey players who lost their lives in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy last year. Josef Vašíček, Jan Marek, Karel Rachůnek and 40 others (including crew members) on board their plane died at the scene when the aircraft crashed during take-off; one of two survivors died later in hospital. All three of the Czech players were added to the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame last year; the decision to name streets in their honour was taken by the Prague council.
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