10 Questions for Filip Klimko / Ice Hockey World Championship
Slovakia is set to host one of its biggest events of the year in May – the Ice Hockey World Championship. The event will run from May 10 - May 26, 2019. Sixteen teams from all over the world will compete for the title in two Slovak cities: Bratislava and Kosice. With most of the tickets sold out, both Bratislava (LZIB/BTS) and Kosice (LZKZ/KSC) airports are getting ready for a very busy month of May.
Euro Jet is ready to support our customers’ flights throughout the tournament in both Bratislava and Kosice. To find out more about how both airports are getting ready for the event, we asked our traditional 10 questions to our Euro Jet Country Manager for Slovakia, Filip Klimko.
1. Hi Filip, with such a busy event, how are you getting your teams ready at both airports?
Well we have plenty of aviation experience, so we certainly know what we will need to do once the aircraft get here. In both Bratislava and Kosice, we are ready to help arrange all services, like handling requests, passenger and crew transportation, hotel accommodation and catering. We have shifts set-up so that two agents at each airport are always available 24/7 for all our clients.
2. Bratislava is a fairly big airport, and can handle a lot of traffic, what about Kosice?
Yes, that is true. Bratislava airport is bigger than Kosice airport, and also has more parking stands available. Bratislava airport is slot coordinated and our Prague Operations Center will arrange all slots based on each customer request. Kosice airport is much smaller and in order to accommodate all aircraft, the airport will issue NOTAMS when necessary due to its limited capacity. While slots are not required, all landings will require approval from the airport authority. Slot or approval issues can be expected in peak times (before each weekend during the championship), however our Euro Jet OCC can assist with expediting the process.
3. Should our customers expect any parking issues? Will operators be permitted to only drop-off and pick-up passengers, and later reposition the aircraft to a different airport?
We don’t expect repositioning the aircraft to be necessary during the Championship in Bratislava. However, Kosice airport has limited parking and it could be required. We strongly recommended that customers send their handling requests as soon as possible, then we will work to secure parking for their aircraft.
4. If any of these airports have no parking, what are the alternate airports?
If one of these airports has no parking available, there a few alternate airports. Bratislava has two alternatives: Vienna Airport is 45 minutes away by car and a second option is an airport in the Slovak city of Piestany (LZPP/PZY), which is approximately 60 minutes away. All alternative airports can be reached by a highway leading up to Bratislava. An alternate airport for Kosice is Poprad-Tatry (LZTT/TAT) which is located 120 kilometers away. Car transportation takes 75 minutes from Poprad – Tatry to Kosice via the highway.
5. Can you briefly tell us some key things about the airports in Bratislava and Kosice?
The good news is that both airports are open 24/7 and handling, customs, immigrations services are available at all times. Bratislava airport is located 10 kilometers from the city center and has two runways. To get downtown, it will take approximately 25 minutes in traffic and 15 minutes without traffic. Kosice is a smaller international airport with one runway. Traveling to the downtown or the hockey stadium takes 20 minutes on average, traffic is usually not an issue.
6. Will any special procedures apply to charters coming in for the event? Can both airports provide all services (from fuel to catering)? How about hangar space?
We don’t expect any special procedures for all traffic coming to Slovakia during the ice hockey championship. All passengers and crew will be taken care of by us in cooperation with the local handler, and we will make sure the security, customs and immigration checks go as smooth as possible. Depending upon the number of passengers on each flight, we can use the general aviation terminal or commercial terminal. The general aviation terminal at each airport offers privacy and a smooth operation, but please note they can only accommodate a limited number of passengers. Euro Jet can coordinate all the required services, such as fuel, catering, transportation, hotels, etc. With regards to hangar space, unfortunately it will not be available in Bratislava nor Kosice.
7. What can you tell us about crew and passenger procedures upon arrival and departure? Slovakia is in the Schengen zone, so crew are not required to have a VISA. Are there any exceptions?
Our customers should not expect any restrictions at all when arriving into Slovakia on a Schengen flight. If our clients fly-in from a non-Schengen area, we will have more customs and immigration officers on duty during the event to avoid any delays. VISAs cannot be arranged upon arrival at any airport. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published more details regarding VISAs and it can be accessed here: https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/consular_info.
For the departure, when the crew and passengers arrive at the airport, our dedicated staff at the commercial or general aviation terminal will be ready to help. All passengers and crew have to go through security screening and customs/immigrations depending on their final flight destination (Schengen or non-Schengen country).
8. Can you introduce both Euro Jet teams in Bratislava and Kosice?
I will be travelling back and forth between both airports, overseeing all our customer flights coming to Bratislava as well as Kosice. All of our Euro Jet team members have many years of experience with general aviation flights and also special governmental or VIP flights. They are without a doubt the most experienced VIP aviation team in all of Slovakia!
9. Is it even worth it to ask about hotel availability? If our customers fly in at the last minute, will there be options?
Well all hockey tickets are almost sold out which means most hotels are full in order to accommodate the teams, fans, and media. As expected, whatever hotel space is still available will be very expensive. Though, my team and our Prague OCC hotel desk will do our best to accommodate customers coming in at the last minute.
10. As a Slovak native, you are surely rooting for Slovakia to win, right? What other teams are you rooting for?
I apologize, but in my heart there is space only for one hockey team and that is the Slovak one. I cannot wait for the ice hockey championship to begin. Hockey is my favorite sport as well as the most popular sport in Slovakia. But of course, I am very excited to see other hockey teams playing in Bratislava and Kosice, especially the Americans and Canadians. Though they better watch out as the Slovaks are ready to win big!
Pic. Euro Jet