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Old 11th Aug 2006, 09:23
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SkyEurope introduces pre-assigned seating. Now everyone can choose his preferred seat when booking a flight.

10. 08. 2006

SkyEurope, the leading low-cost, low-fare airline in Central and Eastern Europe, is introducing a new service allowing passengers to pre-select their preferred seat while booking their flights at
Some low fare airlines rely on free seating, meaning that passengers have to fight for their seats, as no seats get assigned to individual passengers. With SkyEurope there is no need to fight. Every pasenger will get when checking in a boarding pass with a dedicated seat assignment – on a first come first serve basis.
Many passengers would like to get a window seat, or want to sit in exit rows where maximum leg room is provided, or do want to take the front row in the aircraft allowing them to deboard first when the plane arrives at the destination.
From today onwards passengers are able to book at the moment of reserving their flights their preferred seat. During the flight booking process customers can select directly in the displayed aircraft seating plan the seat they want to prebook.
Price for the new service will be 5 € one way per pre-booked seat and will be charged if selected together with the flight.
This service is available both for on-line bookers at as well as customers calling SkyEurope’s central reservation centre.
"We are happy to introduce again a new innovative service that will provide our passengers with another great reason to fly with Now we enable our passengers to individually select their prefered seat in the plane, if they wish to do so. We focus on customer satisfaction and aim to deliver a product that contributes to an enjoyable travel experience“, said Ralph Preclik, Chief Product Officer of SkyEurope Airlines.
edited for advertising
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Old 11th Aug 2006, 09:53
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They're following the example of Virgin Express then, who tuned into to all this seating preference malarky ages ago
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Old 21st Aug 2006, 13:17
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Sounds like jetstar in Aus!

Should be good.

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Old 19th Dec 2006, 15:50
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Vienna base!

2 aircraft and 16 destinations for starters. Bratislava base and Vienna base will operate side by side. Sky Europe aiming for a greater market share in the region as a whole.

Amsterdam 1234567
Barcelona -2---67
Brussels 1234567
Paris / Orly 1234567
Nice 1-3-5--
Venice/Treviso 1-3-5--
Florence -2-4-6-
Rimini ---4--7
Bucharest Banesa 1234567
Sofia 123456-
Athen 3xweekly
Thessaloniki 2xweekly
Larnaca 2xweekly
Zadar -2---6-
Dubrovnik --3--6-
Split -2---6-
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Old 19th Dec 2006, 16:50
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Any hope of Vienna-Cork?
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Old 31st Jan 2007, 21:58
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Slovak Airlines go bust

Slovak airlines went bust this week (Article)
No doubt Sky Europe are rubbing their hands with glee

Knowing that Ryanair said that they were considering a Bratislava base (Article), but not in 2007, I wonder will they now move fast and bring forward their plans for Bratislava?

Also, there has been no more news about Wizz's plans for Bratislava (Article), possibly we'll hear more soon?
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Old 22nd Feb 2007, 23:06
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Developments in Slovakia

Just to note that the first and third linked articles in CharlieRoy's post are available and very interesting, but the second (which should be about Ryanair possibly developing a base in Bratislava) redirects you to a site in Polish which doesn't seem relevant.
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Old 23rd Feb 2007, 08:24
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Indeed it seems that that article is no longer on line.

Here's a summary:
  • Ryanair plan to target Wizz Air this year and become bigger than them in Poland
  • Ryanair plan to double their number of Polish passengers in 2007 compared to 2006
  • Ryanair have no significant plans for Warsaw in 2007, and will instead wait until a new low cost airport is built
  • Ryanair are in negotiations with Katowice airport
  • An Eastern European base is not a priority for Ryanair in 2007, but under consideration are Riga, Bratislava, Poland.
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Old 22nd Jun 2007, 18:23
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SkyEurope, the first budget airline to move into Poland, is considering closing down its operations centre in Poland. Jason Bitter, the new CEO, plans to withdraw from Eastern Europe and move the Budapest and Cracow hubs to Western Europe.
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Old 22nd Jun 2007, 18:43
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Buster & all

An article in atwonline mentions 2 more 73G's for Vienna by 28/10/07
with 12 new destinations plus increases to Amsterdam & Sofia.

Also the first (or so they claim) inter Austrian lo-cost route - Vienna to

I dare say that MAN and BHX will be hoping for Vienna to make up for
the loss of the BA/BACON service.

It is mentioned that Bratislava will remain their base.


Last edited by OltonPete; 22nd Jun 2007 at 18:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 13:56
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Can you provide any more news on the rumour SkyEurope are going to operate four new services from LTN this winter?
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 14:13
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Their website is showing UK flights moving from Stansted to Luton from end-October 2007. They currently service only Bratislava and Poprad from STN, but will be adding Kosice and Prague from November.

25 rotations per week, in excess of 250,000 passengers a year - assuming a reasonable degree of success.
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Old 29th Aug 2007, 17:57
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Krakow base?

Can anyone read Polish??

Słowacki Sky Europe opuszcza Kraków
Does it mean that Sky Europe plan to reduce operations in Krakow in favour of operations in Vienna (Wiednia)?
Sorry if I'm totally off the ball.
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Old 29th Aug 2007, 18:44
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Does it mean that Sky Europe plan to reduce operations in Krakow
It has been a public secret there, only now it became official. Sky Europe leaves Krakow in favour of Vienna. The operational base in Poland will be terminated [in search for customers with thicker purses (living in Vienna, apparently)]. Not much new in this article, the airport's chief is optimistic, and so on.

To my mind, the Sky's cost structure is to blame, not Krakow Airport (and passengers) alone. The article's interpretation is pretty naive: the carrier's load factor has been 87% only. Is it the reason? I think this is pretty good, actually. Once again: Sky is maybe a low-price carrier, but when the low-cost issue is being imperfect (and it's true), the debt rises. Avoiding of Ryanair by the retreat to Vienna might be not enough to save them.

What the article doesn't say is that the number of routes from KRK will be reduced VERY drastically. From about 20 to... maybe one or two.

Unofficially, there were many expectations that an other LCC would fill the gap instantly, such were rumours in Krakow.
There were the negotiations with Norwegian to create a base there, it's not imminent, however. After some positive talks with Ryanair, it could have been them, it's been almost a certainty a month ago. But most recently the atmosphere worsened a bit, it seems that some conditions weren't fulfilled on the both sides and the one to replace Sky in this beautiful Polish city will be Centralwings, not FR. Still waiting for more official news, however.

Hey, where is Ryanair's Boeing with "Good bye, Sky Europe" inscription? Is it still flying?
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Old 29th Aug 2007, 20:56
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Skyeurope inscription Ryanair

The aircraft EI-DLF is currently based in Cork ironically one of Skyeuropes latests new destinations. Maybe it should read Welcome Skyeurope since Ryanair doesn't seem too bothered about competition there as long as its not Easyjet!
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Old 1st Sep 2007, 15:42
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Jason Bitter, SkyEurope's new CEO, has sent a letter to his firm's employees yesterday in which he explains his motives behind the radical shift in the carrier's policy and abandoning the bases in Krakow and Budapest. As the complete text you can easily find on the internet right now, there should be no issue with citing it here as well.
Dear fellow SkyEuropeans,

Today is a difficult day as we have to inform you that we have made our decision to close our bases in both Krakow and Budapest effective with the winter schedule (October 28). This decision was not taken lightly and was debated within the board right up until the final decision was made this week. Our People team is putting together offers for those of you who wish to re-locate to one of our other bases. We have also spoken with other companies who are interested in employing some of our staff, particularly cabin crew. We will be providing further information on this quickly. This decision in no way reflects on the efforts of our people in Budapest or Krakow as you have all been delivering an excellent product we are all proud of; this is strictly an economic decision and is one of many being made to allow us to reach our mission of profitability.

I will now explain why we made this decision and what this means for our staff currently located in these bases.

1.) With our current fleet of 14 aircraft it is inefficient for us to be spread thinly across our region with small bases and we have made a strategic decision that it is better to be strong in a few places rather than weak in many places;

2.) We see a lot of progress being made in our performance in the past 5 months as we have improved significantly over last year in both revenues and costs, but we still need more;

3.) We have identified multiple ways we will save costs by simplifying our operation by reducing the number of bases and the number of companies we have. Our operation has been too complex and these complexities add cost. By eliminating complexities, we will reduce our cost base and also make our operation run more smoothly as it becomes more concentrated;

4.) We have decided after much research that our best chance of achieving long-term success is to build our operation around Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Vienna. The short and long-term potential of these markets is significant and we know we have a superior cost base and product than our main competitors in Prague and Vienna. These markets have a good mix of both leisure and business traffic and are growing rapidly with very healthy national economies and most importantly, they have a less pronounced seasonality as their winter season is not as poor as in Krakow and Budapest.

5.) Prague and Bratislava/Vienna are also better located physically than Budapest and Krakow. For example our flight time from Prague to Amsterdam is approximately 1 hour less than from Budapest, yet the fare people are willing to pay is similar. We can achieve more production in these bases as there are more short-sector possibilities than in Krakow or Budapest where the sectors are longer and we can only fly 6 sectors a day, while in others we can do 8. These extra 2 sectors per day make a significant difference in revenue generation. Moreover, we will be able to have a much more stable and consistent roster for our crews with the new schedules we have developed for these bases;

6.) One of the major problems we have experienced with both Krakow and Budapest is the strong effect of seasonality. We do very well in these markets in the summer months and at Christmas time, while the rest of the year the market is weak. Simply put: it is difficult to make up the money lost in 40 weeks in the 12 weeks when the traffic is strong.

7.) There are other problems associated specifically with Budapest surrounding the economic conditions in Hungary. Our current passenger mix has very few Hungarians flying. This is the same for every airline flying in Budapest. Our primary market on Budapest flights has become incoming traffic and we cannot sustain this. We have clearly seen a reduction in Hungarian passengers as the economic condition in Hungary has continued to get worse. The excessive taxation in Hungary has left Hungarians with low disposable income to be able to afford a trip abroad when compared to the people in Czech Republic, Slovakia and especially Austria where disposable income is rising significantly. We know that if the economy in Hungary were different, our results in Budapest would be different. The tax regime in Hungary also makes it difficult to compete with our cost base as a Slovak company where the taxes are much lower.

8.) In Krakow we have many problems that negatively effect our operation that we cannot afford any longer. The airport is significantly below an operational readiness stage for a commercial airline base. There is only a Category 1 runway in one direction, the airport is built in an area where fog and strong tailwinds are common thus causing a lot of diversions every winter, there is no hangar at all for maintenance and most importantly the costs are far too high for such an airport.

There are many more reasons why we have taken this decision. One of these is our cost base at these airports in relation to our other bases. For example, our costs per departure in Krakow are more than 30% higher than in Prague and 52% higher than in Bratislava!!! To put this in perspective, it is cheaper to operate in Barcelona, Rome, and Milan than in Krakow. We tried to negotiate a reduction in charges in Krakow in order to remain with a base there. Unfortunately the offer we received was not enough to make a difference to overcome all of the costs and issues we have in staying in Krakow.

In Budapest, although cheaper than Krakow, we encountered a similar problem where we tried unsuccessfully to lower our costs. As with Krakow, the offer made by the airport was too low for us to be able to remain in Budapest and still realistically have a chance of reaching our target of profitability in our next fiscal year.

We believe that our agreements and locked-in low-cost base in Bratislava, Prague and Vienna ensures that we will be able to grow significantly in these bases without sacrificing profitability. Moreover, we firmly believe in the philosophy that we are better served to be a major player in fewer markets as we can benefit from the scale we can achieve this way.

We are not ruling out a return to these bases and will continue to serve Krakow this winter with flights from Vienna. We would dearly like to fly from Budapest, but under the current economic conditions, this does not work for us. When things change in Hungary, we will evaluate a return, but we have decided that we cannot continue to invest in markets that cannot be profitable for us in the short and even medium-term.

I hope many people choose to relocate and continue to be a part of the SkyEurope team in another base.


Jason Bitter
Well, an interesting piece of reading. I think Krakow should reconsider its policy concerning the charges and fees. Surely, it's a very attractive destination for tourists from all over Europe, but being greedy doesn't pay. They could have lured one of the major players to create a base there to fill the gap, but if they weren't able to make any real concessions while negotiating with, say, Ryanair, they didn't have a real chance, unfortunately.

Last edited by eu01; 1st Sep 2007 at 19:33.
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Old 6th Sep 2007, 19:50
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Since the announcement last week that Sky Europe were dismantling their Krakow base, the following replacement routes have been announced:

  • Barcelona Girona
  • Dublin
  • Athens
  • Manchester
  • Milano Bergamo
Budapest hasn't announced any new routes since, but most of Sky Europe's routes were already competing with Malev and Wizz and the other carriers.
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Old 11th Dec 2007, 11:49
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A report in today's 'Flight International' states that Sky Europe are trying to re-negotiate the terms of the covenants on their aircraft leases, as the current covenants have been breached.
Although not apparently viewed as critical by GECAS (the lessor), breaching of any covenant is bad news for a public company. Sky's fourth quarter results looked favourable, at least according to the spin they released them with, so hopefully this is a blip rather than an omen.
They have also decided to sell the two aircraft they currently own.
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Old 7th Jan 2008, 18:30
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Quo vadis, Sky Europe?

Sky Europe "first premium low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe"....
Where are you going? The corporate propaganda claiming themselves to be one of the most successfull carriers. What's the reality? Reading the Austrian economical news one could notice: "[in Dezember] Der Ladefaktor belief sich auf 67,7 (November: 69,6) Prozent, um 8,7 Prozentpunkte weniger als vor einem Jahr." The LF in December 67.7% ONLY. Less than in November, 8.7% less than in December last year. Oh, the retreat from East to West did not work? Or was it just an other kind of problems in question that would have required somewhat different remedia?
Finally, was MOL right in calculating the Sky's chances as close to nonexistent?
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Old 10th Jan 2008, 13:33
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SkyEurope is finished. They have just received another 15 Million Euros from an investor, since otherwise they would have had to stop operations.
The shares of SkyEurope at the Vienna stock Exchange reflect the financial situation of the company quite well.

Jason Bitter has been sending ridiculous proposals all the time since he became CEO, but has been unable to do anything about the constant decline. It has been obvious for a long time, however, that it was a sinking ship.
Closing Budapest and Krakow bases was like admitting defeat; since then, everybody knew what the reality looked like.

I give them no more than a couple of months from now. They've sold their two own aircraft already, now they have those mentioned 15m to use up; after that, the lights will go out.


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