DALLAS — Today, October 6, Czech Airlines (OK), the national carrier of the Czech Republic, proudly joins the centennial club, celebrating 100 years of aviation excellence.
Founded in 1923 as Czechoslovak State Airlines (CSA), the airline embarked on its maiden voyage just a month later, connecting the cities of Prague and Bratislava in what was then Czechoslovakia. Throughout its rich history, the carrier has witnessed numerous milestones and challenges, evolving into a symbol of Czech aviation pride. Today, we commemorate this extraordinary journey and delve into the fascinating story of the Czech flag carrier.
Czech Airlines’ century-long history is deeply intertwined with the development of Prague Airport (formerly Ruzyně Airport). A spokesperson for Prague’s Václav Havel Airport highlighted this historic connection, stating, “It has been 100 years since the story of Czech Airlines began to be written, which is in many ways intertwined with the history of Prague Airport itself. Václav Havel Airport Prague is therefore happy to join the celebrations.”
Visitors to Prague Airport (PRG) have the opportunity to explore the significant historical milestones of the carrier at the “100 Years of Czech Aviation Exhibition.” This captivating exhibition, prepared in collaboration between PRG and CSA, is located in the connecting hall between Terminals 1 and 2 and will be open until the end of the year. It offers a fascinating journey through the airline’s century-long legacy.
To mark this momentous occasion, OK has introduced two commemorative gifts—a special medal and a book titled “STO Let(adel) ČSA” (A Hundred Years (Aircraft) of Czech Airlines). Travelers and aviation enthusiasts can acquire these limited-edition keepsakes at Václav Havel Airport Prague’s souvenir shop in Terminal 2, starting at the end of October.
Pioneering Achievements and Industry Contributions
Czech Airlines is no stranger to aviation firsts. In 1957, the airline made history by becoming the world’s first carrier to operate a jet-only route when it commenced service to Moscow using the Tu-104A variant. This groundbreaking achievement underlines Czech Airlines’ commitment to innovation and progress in the aviation industry.
Moreover, Czech Airlines holds the distinction of being a founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Its enduring commitment to international cooperation and standards-setting has significantly contributed to the growth and success of the global airline industry.
Celebrating with Passengers
To express its gratitude to loyal passengers, OK has prepared a special gift for travelers on its flights on October 6, 2023, the day of the carrier’s 100th anniversary. Additionally, members of the OK Plus loyalty program will receive a jubilee bonus of 1,923 miles in their accounts when flying Czech Airlines on this historic day.
Czech Airlines has also launched a microsite at letisteslavi.cz, offering the public a chance to explore interesting facts related to the airline’s centenary. The microsite features a competition for four Czech Airlines tickets to Paris and Madrid, enticing aviation enthusiasts to engage with the rich history of this enduring airline.
In closing, Petr Kudela, Chairman of the Czech Airlines Board of Directors, shared his sentiments on the occasion.
“One hundred years of Czech Airlines history was marked by a number of key milestones, triumphs, and also challenges. Last, but not least, it is also connected with the memories and experiences of millions of passengers. I am glad that, considering the very difficult recent period through which the company had to navigate, Czech Airlines can celebrate the 100th anniversary of its establishment today, as the fifth oldest and still operating airline in the world.”Petr Kudela, Chairman of the Czech Airlines Board of Directors
We congratulate the Czech flag carrier for joining the list of airlines that have turned 100, including KLM (October 1919), Avianca (December 1919), Qantas (November 1920), and Aeroflot (July 1923).
Feature Image: Czech Airlines (100-year stickers) Airbus A320-214 OK-HEU. Photo: Dominik Csordás/Airways