Czech Railways (ČD) transported over 79 million passengers during the first half of the year, an increase of four million from the previous year. The highest growth in interest was recorded in intercity transport. Despite the rise, the national carrier has yet to reach the pre-pandemic number of passengers in 2019, when 91.6 million people used the service. However, changes in carriers on some routes also affect these figures.
CD’s intercity lines are now transporting more passengers than in 2019, according to CEO Michal Krapince. “Tourists from abroad, including those from overseas, such as America, are driving the recovery. The main reasons are the continuing demand for foreign holidays and the increasing popularity of rail transport for international leisure travel,” he said.
Krapince added that passengers in the Czech Republic return most quickly to lines with modern trains in operation, offering new services and shortening travel times.
CD reports that it has equaled its pre-pandemic transport levels from 2015 to 2019 on the lines it operates. “Compared to 2019, Czech Railways carried only 86% of passengers, but this ratio is distorted by changes in carriers on some lines since 2019,” the carrier said in a press release.
CD says that travel demand is still influenced by changing habits from the pandemic era, with a greater degree of work-from-home persisting. However, demand is increasing, particularly among people traveling for leisure activities.
Transport performance also increased during the first half of the year. CD traveled 3.6 billion passenger kilometers during the year’s first half, about 10.3 million more than in the first half of last year.
Personal transport performance is measured by passenger kilometers, the number of kilometers traveled by passenger trains operated by CD.
Czech Railways reported a gross profit of CZK 396 million last year, a better financial result than the previous year by more than CZK 2 billion. However, after taxation, the company reported a consolidated loss of CZK 139 million.
Freight transport was profitable, while the personal vehicle was in the red. The result was helped by the return of passengers after the pandemic crisis, with CD transporting 157 million customers last year, an increase of 36 million from the previous year.