For the third time in its history and for the second time in a row, the annual number of passengers handled at Košice Airport exceeded 500.000. Operating results of Košice Airport proved that for several years, the number of passengers has been constantly increasing and Košice Airport has become the 1st choice airport for the inhabitants in its catchment area.
The year 2019 was really turbulent for Košice Airport. In January, Czech Airlines cancelled route to Bratislava. In March, the Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded worldwide and despite the fact they were not flying to Košice, it influenced the airport immediately in following months. After that, in April, the first flight of Ryanair took place. In September, due to grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, Turkish Airlines suspended the route to Istanbul, and after that, Ryanair cancelled the route to London Southend. In cooperation with Ryanair, from April 2020, this route will be replaced by more attractive route to London Stansted which has excellent geographical position in London area. In October, Eurowings reopened its route to Düsseldorf, i.e. to the main airport of Eurowings network.
In 2019, total of 558.064 passengers passed the gates of Košice Airport, what represents an increase by 3 % (+ 16.038 passengers) compared to the previous year. 370 583 passengers used scheduled routes, 184 742 charter flights and 2 739 general aviation flights.
The most demanded scheduled destination was London Luton, followed by Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, London Southend, Istanbul, Düsseldorf and Munich. Scheduled flights were used by 370.583 passengers in total.
2019 charter flights were again one of the most important milestones of the year, as the charter traffic, with 184.742 passengers handled and with annual growth of 9 %, was historically the most successful one. Important was also the fact that the summer charter season was again extended, so the holidaymakers could fly from Košice to summer destinations already from mid-April to late October. 184.742 charter passengers represent 33 % of total passenger’s number of Košice Airport. This figure includes all charter flights, not only the summer holiday charters, i.e. also popular spring or autumn pilgrim tours with flights to Tel Aviv and special charter flights with hockey teams and fans, who flew to Košice for the Ice Hockey World Championship. The total annual increase of all charter flights was 9% or +15 163 passenger.
Michael Tmej, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Košice International Airport said: „2019 was a very difficult year for the whole aviation industry and grounding of the Boeing 737 Max planes has influenced also Košice Airport. Nevertheless, despite all the negative circumstances, in the year 2019 we still managed to grow and in terms of passenger figures, 2019 was the 2nd best year in the airport´s history. I sincerely thank all passengers who used our services in 2019, our business partners and our dedicated staff. “
In the year 2019, Radio Košice organized again the Košice Runway Run at the airport. It was the 4th year of very successful and popular event at which, despite of the rainy weather, almost 1 600 runners took part. The 5th year of this popular sport event is planned for April 25, 2020.
Košice Airport has started the year 2020 with 5 year-round scheduled destinations (Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, London Luton and Düsseldorf). Thereby, Košice Airport enables passengers to fly to more than 300 hundred destinations worldwide with just one stop on board of Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Eurowings, Wizz Air and Ryanair.
Great news for all passengers is that Ryanair, Europe's largest airline, is returning to Košice. From April 1, 2020, it will operate direct connection between Košice and London Stansted 3 times a week.