Slovakian start-up SkyEurope Airlines, which launched this month using a 30-seat Embraer EMB-120, is adopting the no-frills formula for expansion with Boeing 737s.

The Slovak-Belgian-Spanish joint venture operated its inaugural flight on 13 February between the Slovakian capital Bratislava and Kosice, 450km (243nm) to the east, using a single EMB-120 Brasilia (Flight International, 5-11 February). Commercial manager Pavol Mlady says SkyEurope takes its inspiration from Ryanair and plans to expand with 737-300s.

"The country's ground infrastructure is not good - it takes 5h to get from Bratislava to Kosice by land, so there is great demand for this airlink," says Mlady.

Mlad«y says the airline is planning a two-phase development, the first involving domestic service expansion. Zurich services will be added next month, at €69 ($59) one-way, followed by Prague, at which point the airline hopes to acquire a second Brasilia.

By early next year, SkyEurope's second development phase will see the launch of services to Amsterdam, Brussels, London Stansted, Milan, Paris and Rome. "For these destinations talks are under way with Boeing to acquire 737s," he says, with an initial requirement for two 737-300s.

Source: Flight International