Ostrava is the first city in the Czech Republic to have a regular rail connection to an international airport. The first train arrived at the international Leoš Janáček Airport in Mošnov at 4:30 A.M. on Monday.
The reconstruction of 5.5 kilometres of the existing railway and construction of the new stretch of the railway was funded mainly from the EU funds and amounted to 940 million crowns.
Opponents of the project point out that the airport in Ostrava Mošnov dispatches on average eight flights a day, which is a negligible amount compared to the Prague airport. The twenty daily train connections can carry up to 6,000 passengers, but the airport in Ostrava currently clears on average 810 passengers a day.
However, the region’s governor Miroslav Novák is hoping that the direct link will increase the airport’s competitiveness and attract new air carriers in the future.
The railway also connects the city of Ostrava with the Mošnov industrial zone, which currently employs around 1,500 people. The number of people working in the area is expected to increase by another thousand in the next two years.
The Leoš Janáček Airport in Ostrava offers regular flights to Prague, London, Paris, and Dusseldorf. In the summer season the planes also fly to tourist destinations, in particular the Mediterranean area.
Last year, 297,691 checked in at the airport, 15 percent more in 2013. Václav Havel International Airport in Prague cleared 11.1 million passengers and the airport in Brno-Tuřany nearly 487,000 passengers.
The new railway connection will be put to test in May, with the arrival of fans for the Ice Hockey World Championship, which will take place in Ostrava and Prague in May 1-17. Meanwhile, Václav Havel International Airport in Prague is still waiting for its high speed railway connection with the centre of the city. Its price is estimated at 20 billion crowns.
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