Prague airport is located about 15 kilometers west of the Prague city center in the area of the district Ruzyně. Terminals 1 and 2 can be reached via junction 30 of Dálnice 7, while GAT and Terminal 3 are also connected to the D 7 via junction 28.Dálnice 6, which is connected to the D 7 by a motorway junction, also begins south of the airport.
From the metro station Nádraží Veleslavín (metro line A), bus line No. 119 runs regularly during the day (every 5 to 10 minutes) to the airport (in Czech letiště), from the metro station Zličín (terminus of metro line B) bus line No. 100, both of which can be used with a normal public transport ticket. In addition, the Airport Express bus runs every half hour during the day from the Prague Central Station, for which a special fare applies. At night the airport is served by bus line 910 every 30 minutes. An extension of the metro line A to the airport is being discussed
Civil air traffic in Czechoslovakia began in 1919 at the actually military airport in Prague-Kbely. However, the airport soon reached its capacity limits, so in 1933 the government started building a civil airport at Ruzyně. The airport was opened on 5 April 1937 and in the same year it was awarded a gold medal at the Paris World Exhibition. Initially, the airport area covered only 108 hectares. In the following two years it was expanded to three times its original size.
On 16 March 1939, Adolf Hitler proclaimed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. On the same day the airport was occupied by the German Wehrmacht and an air force plane landed. The Luftwaffe then established a school for bomber pilots. This led to more frequent bomb attacks. On 5 May 1945 the German command was called upon to surrender. The German soldiers left the airport in the night from 7 to 8 May 1945. 8 May 1945 saw the start of preparations to get the airport ready for civilian operations again.
Dwight D. Eisenhower during the reception in front of the old control tower
After the end of the war, many people who had fled from the National Socialists returned to Czechoslovakia via the airport. For a short time military transports of the Allies were still taking place. On 8 September 1945 Karl Hermann Frank landed in a special plane coming from Frankfurt am Main and was then taken to the Pankrác prison. On 12 October of the same year Dwight D. Eisenhower landed at the airport for a visit to the city.
With the beginning of communist autocracy, the western aircraft types gradually disappeared. The ČSA converted the fleet to Soviet aircraft models, so that the image of the airport in the following decades was mainly shaped by aircraft from Ilyushin and Tupolev. At the end of 1957, ČSA took over the first Tupolev Tu-104s, thus heralding the jet age at Prague Airport.
The North Terminal on the day of its opening
In connection with Czechoslovakia’s international policy of détente in the 1960s, traffic figures increased, which, together with the increasing use of longer runway lengths and space-consuming jet aircraft, made it necessary to expand the airport. Between 1958 and 1959, the runway (SLB) 12/30 was temporarily extended to 2620 metres, later to 3250 metres, and between 1960 and 1968 a new complex of buildings, today’s Terminal North, with parking areas, air traffic control, supply and hangar buildings, and a new runway system with the main focus on the new main SLB 06/24, initially 3100 and later 3715 metres long, was constructed in several stages. The older SLBs 04/22 and 08/26 were subsequently only used as branch lines .
When the armies of the Warsaw Pact invaded to suppress the Prague Spring, the civil disobedience of the airport staff made headlines. When the first Soviet troop transporters landed, the director had all control centres (for power supply etc.) switched off in the late evening of 20 August 1968, thus paralysing flight operations. In this way the airport employees prevented – at least for a certain time – the landing of further invaders ].
In the 1970s and 1980s there were no major expansions at the prague airport. Due to the lack of fuel, all shorter domestic flights had to be cancelled at the beginning of the 1980s.
After the political turnaround, a new wave of construction and reconstruction began after 1989. First the terminal building was renovated and extended. In 1997 the South Terminal was opened. On 17 January 2006 the opening of the newly built North 2 Terminal took place with the participation of the then President of the Republic Václav Klaus .
On 5 October 2012 the airport of Prague-Ruzyně was named after Václav Havel, who died in December before, On that day he would have been 76 years old.
Since May 2016 the airport has been served by scheduled flights of the Airbus A380. Emirates uses the A380 on the route to Dubai airport .
Prague Airport is the home airport of several airlines. In addition to the Czech flag carrier Czech Airlines, these include Travel Service including its subsidiary Smart Wings, ABS Jets and Grossmann Jet Service.
Numerous foreign airlines are also represented at the airport. Wizz Air uses the airport as its base, but plans to close it in mid-June 2018.In addition, easyJet, Jet2.com, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Volotea fly to at least five different destinations. Most other airlines only fly to one destination.
There are also scheduled flights to Africa, Asia and North America. However, a large proportion of the passenger volume is accounted for by intra-European connections