Vaclav Havel is not the first airport in Prague. The Kbely Airport, established in 1918, existing long before. However, as aviation developed this airport ceased to be sufficient and it was necessary to build a new, larger one.
The Long Mile is not just the name of a famous Czech series from the 1990s, but also the name of the plain on which the new airport was built. It was constructed in 1933-1937 and was designed by architect Adolf Beneš, who won a gold medal for it at the 1937 International Exposition of Art and Technology in Paris. Operation was launched on 5 April 1937.
The first major modifications took place after the war. The area of the airport was expanded considerable in the 1960s. Following the revolution, the northern terminal was reconstructed, and in 1995 work began on the construction of the luxurious terminal 2, which has been open since 2006. The offer of services, shops, restaurants and cafes went hand in hand with the airport reconstruction.
The most recent fundamental reconstruction of the main runway took place in 2013.
From March to October 2017, 67 airlines fly from Vaclav Havel Airport to a total of 155 destinations in Europe, Asia and North America. Last year, a record-breaking 13,000,000 passengers were cleared with 136,000 take-offs and landings, and 71,000 tonnes of cargo were shipped.
In 2016, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380 belonging to the luxury Emirates airline, starting flying to the airport on the Prague – Dubai line. Three Chinese airlines also started flying to Vaclav Havel Airport: China Eastern from Shanghai, Hainan from Beijing and Sichuan Airlines from Chengdu. A new line also comes in from Qatar (Qatar Airways) and Canada (Air Canada Rouge).
This year’s offer was extended by 10 destinations: Aarhus, Almeria, Yerevan, London-Southend, Malmö, Menorca, Reykjavik, Stavanger, Trapani and Verona.
Within the 80th anniversary of the airport’s existence, you can visit a luxurious interactive exhibition in the public part of Terminal 2, which documents the history of the airport and expected future development. The trend clearly indicates that flying is not subsiding – on the contrary. There will be more destinations every year and the airport might soon need another terminal. Who knows?