Czech Airlines insists it will not be reduced to regional status

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SkyTeam partner Czech Airlines insists it will not be reduced to a regional operator despite cutting its long-haul fleet and scaling back services.

The loss-making carrier is attempting to restore profitability through an efficiency programme, but its decision to remove its long-haul Airbus A310s from scheduled services has alarmed its pilot association.

Czech Airlines says, however, that it is "not ceasing to be a long-haul carrier" and says it still operates services to long-distance eastern destinations.

Its route network from Prague includes Central Asian cities such as Tashkent and Almaty, although these are served by narrowbody aircraft.

Czech Airlines says it will "carry on in this development" and, while it will operate less frequently to certain destinations, it is "not ridding itself of any key slots" at Prague or elsewhere.

The company "naturally remains" a network carrier, it states.

Czech Airlines says it is to concentrate on a "growing market" of sixth-freedom operations in Europe and says it wants to expand outside the Czech Republic, in charter activity in particular.