Low-Cost Carrier Smartwings Launches Flights To London Heathrow

Smartwings, the low-cost Czech airline, has today launched its first flights to London’s busiest airport – Heathrow. The airline will be flying four times a week between the British capital and Prague, becoming one of only a handful of low-cost airlines present at the major hub.

Smartwings 737-700
Smartwings is now flying to London Heathrow. Photo: Smartwings

Ahoj Smartwings

London’s Heathrow Airport tends not to be a target for low-cost airlines. Its high landing fees and tightly restricted slots mean most avoid this major hub and head instead to one of London’s other airports. That’s not to say they don’t have a presence there; indeed, Eurowings flies into the airport, as does Romania’s Blue Air. But it’s not a significant stomping ground for no-frills airlines.

Nevertheless, Czech airline Smartwings is keen to give it a go. From today, the airline plans to fly its Boeing 737 to the international hub from its home in Prague. The airline doesn’t specify which flavor of Boeing 737 it plans to bring, but it could be one of its three types of 737 NG, or indeed one of its seven 737 MAX 8s.

Roman Vik, Board member and CEO of Smartwings, commented on the announcement saying,

“London is a key destination for our airline. We are happy that we can offer flights to London’s main airport and favorable terms with flexible and attractive fares.”

According to the airline, its flights will depart on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The slots it’s picked up are somewhat variable, so there’s no fixed schedule. Rather, the outbound flight will take place at 15:50 on a Monday, at 09:45 on a Thursday, at 14:00 on a Friday, and at 18:50 on the Sunday.

Coming back is similarly unpredictable, with Monday operating at 17:45, Thursday at 12:05, Friday at 16:00, and Sunday at 20:45. Those times may be unappealing to business travelers looking for a stable timetable, but for leisure folks looking for a long weekend in either city, they’re actually rather convenient.

Add into this the fact that this is a low-cost carrier, and it could be a winning winter formula. Smartwings fares start at just €46 one way ($53), which could make a quick getaway even more appealing. Prague is well known for being stunning in the winter, so travel-hungry Brits could well be packing out these flights now that travel restrictions have begun to ease.

smartwings 737 MAX 8
Smartwings could bring one of its 737 MAX to London. Photo: Smartwings

What else is in the winter schedule?

For Smartwings fans, there are plenty of additions to the schedule for the winter season. Notably, from October 20th, Smartwings will resume direct flights to Dubai from Prague, tying in its resumption with the start of Dubai’s anticipated Expo 2020.

Also within the winter schedule this year are flights to four Canady Islands, Malaga, Antalya, and Mallorca, as well as Hurghada and Marsa Alam in Egypt. Further afield, Smartwings will fly to St Petersburg and Tel Aviv, while its charter flights will reach as far as Cape Verde, Oman, and Tunisia.

smartwings 737-800
The carrier’s capacity revolves around its 737-800s. Photo: Smartwings

Smartwings is the largest Czech airline and has been rapidly growing over the past few years. Since 2011, it has more than doubled its fleet size from 15 aircraft to 35, with its operations mainly revolving around its 25 737-800 aircraft. Complementing this core fleet, it has a pair of 737-900ER, two 737-700s, and the seven 737 MAX that it reactivated after the grounding this year.