When Košice got a new flight connection from London Luton, you heard it here first: almost a year before it happened! It seemed when that route began operating in autumn 2013 that Slovakia’s second city was really making moves to turn its airport into a serious international airport – fitting, as it was in 2013 that it was European city of culture. You can still read the original post below, and the comments related to it, but Englishmaninslovakia moves on and two years on we want to let you know about the new routes that are cementing Košice’s status as a significant air hub in Eastern Europe (one of the five fastest-growing airports in ALL Europe in 2014, you know).
The New 2015 Routes
Starting in June 2015, there will be flights between Košice and Milan Bergamo and Košice and the UK’s Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood Airport – also operated by Wizz Air, who run the now-successful Košice-London Luton route.
Košice-Milan Bergamo: (Italy) Will operate twice weekly; departure times from Košice will be 18:30 AND departure times from Milan Bergamo will be 21:00 on Fridays and Mondays (first flight Friday 5th June)
Košice-Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood: (UK) Will operate twice weekly; departure times from Košice will be 18:40 AND departure times from Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood 20:55 on Sundays and Wednesdays (first flight Sunday 7th June).
Košice’s Other Flight Routes
Košice-London Luton: (UK) Currently operates at least daily. Departure times from Košice are 11:30am daily (mid-September to March), 18:15 daily (April-June) and 06:00/18:40 (Tue/Thu/Sat) / 06:00 (Fri/Sun/Mon/Wed) (June-mid-September) AND departure times from London Luton are 07:30 daily (mid-September-March), 14:10 daily (April-June) and 14:35/18:50 (Tue/Thu/Sat) / 14:35 (Fri/Sun/Mon/Wed) (June-mid-September) OPERATED BY WIZZ AIR
Košice-Vienna: (Austria) Currently operates on average twice daily during the week and once daily at weekends. Departure times from Košice are 05:00/15:10 (Mon-Fri) / 15:10 (Sat/Sun) AND departure times from Vienna are 12:55/22:15 (Sun-Tue & Thu-Fri) OPERATED BY AUSTRIAN AIRLINES
Košice-Prague: (Czech Republic) Currently operates two direct flights daily (plus two more daily that go through Bratislava). Direct flight departure times are 05:00/14:55 (Mon-Fri) / 05:00 (Sat) / 14:55 (Sun) AND departure times from Prague are 12:15/22:05 (Sun-Fri) (no flights on Saturdays) OPERATED BY CZECH AIRLINES
Košice-Bratislava: (Slovakia) The two afore-mentioned non-direct Czech Airlines flights between Košice and Prague stop in Bratislava Mondays to Fridays. This is Slovakia’s only real internal flight connection but we’re not going to champion its cause here. Why? Because you will save a maximum of one hour, if you’re lucky, over the fast train from Bratislava, because it’s prohibitively expensive (the train ride is a mere 20 Euros) and because it’s not ecological! TAKE THE TRAIN FROM HLAVNA STANICA
The Original Post from November 2012…
London to Košice Flights!
A little birdie (but a very knowledgeable and reliable birdie) tells me flights from London to Košice are starting up next year, with the official announcement to be made in early January after negotiations conclude at the end of this year. March is the projected date for flights to commence. Currently Košice is served from Prague (by Czech Airlines), Vienna (by Austrian Airlines) and otherwise only Bratislava.
It’s been a while coming. Košice’s train connections from Bratislava even with the faster IC-trains, are rarely under five hours and often delayed (speaking as someone who has had to stand from Košice to Trenčin, aka almost-the-whole-way-across-the-country, I can tell you that is not fun). If Košice is serious about attracting international visitors next year for its year as European City of Culture, this is what it needs. Given Slovakia takes six or seven hours to traverse from end to end overland, a Košice flight to another major transport hub is nigh-on essential. Especially when you consider neighbouring Poland has loads of destinations served by cheap flights including plenty to the UK: you can imagine there would be a healthy market for a Košice-London connection. Probably you’d get some Ukrainians coming across to make the most of it too, given it’s only a couple of hours from Košice and bargain flights are hard to come by in the Ukraine unless you want to go to, ah, Russia.
Bargain flights. Hmmm. We know what’s coming, don’t we? But please tell me Ryanair are not the airline being negotiated with. Please. As you will gather from my recent post on cheap flights, what Slovakia needs is an airline that gives visitors a first impression that ISN’T, well, blue-and-yellow plastic, zero leg room and scratch card announcements. I’m a big advocate of budget flights, don’t get me wrong. But when a country is essentially served ONLY by cheap flights, and cheap flights from one source at that, then there’s something wrong. Let’s not assume that visitors to/residents in Košice are only concerned with low prices and aren’t bothered about low quality.
UPDATE WINTER 2013: To confirm the below comments, there are flights running with Wizz Air from London Luton to Košice. Flights (from London Luton) run at 14:10 now on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
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