Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf) is continuing its strategy of expanding beyond its core German-speaking markets and will open a base at Prague Václav Havel airport on October 31, 2021.

The Lufthansa Group low-cost carrier will initially base two A320-200s out of the Czech capital, increasing to three for the Summer 2022 season.

"Eurowings will offer non-stop connections to Czech business travellers and vacationers alike – just in time for the relaunch of air traffic after the longlasting Corona crisis," Chief Executive Jens Bischof said.

Outside of its home German market, the carrier already has bases at Palma de Mallorca, Salzburg, and Pristina airports but said earlier this year that it was actively looking for opportunities to grow its pan-European footprint. At that time, Bischof, while short of naming any cities, identified the Nordics and Eastern Europe as particularly attractive markets.

According to the ch-aviation PRO airports module, in terms of large scheduled carriers, Prague currently hosts crew bases for Buzz (a unit of Ryanair Holdings), CSA Czech Airlines, and Smartwings (Czechia). However, CSA is a shadow of its former self as it is currently in bankruptcy proceedings and operates just one A319-100 and one A320-200, having a mere 5.1% market share by weekly scheduled capacity at the airport. Even though it recently secured court approval to proceed with restructuring, its future remains uncertain. Its parent, Smartwings, focuses on the leisure market, leaving Ryanair as Eurowings' main competitor in Prague.

While Eurowings did not provide a full list of destinations it plans to serve from its Prague base, it did confirm that its network from the Czech city would include Barcelona El Prat, Milan Malpensa, Athens Int'l, Stockholm Arlanda, Copenhagen Kastrup, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, and Birmingham Int'l. It currently operates to Prague only from Düsseldorf but will restart services from Hamburg Helmut Schmidt in August 2021, the ch-aviation schedules module shows.