Saturday, 11 May 2019

Prices falling at Prague Airport

By Jiří Michal |
E15 |
4 December 2008

GigaBar

After many years of expensive beverages at Prague Airport, the prices are starting to fall sharply. It is mostly true about the prices of beer and coffee, which used to exceed CZK 100 and were among the most expensive in Europe. Coffee prices are falling by 20%-30%. A small beer will now cost between CZK 60-85. At least when purchased at the restaurant network newly acquired by company Airest.

"GigaBar restaurant in terminal 2 is currently offering a lunch menu for a reasonable CZK 99 and coke for CZK 35," said Marta Guthová from Letiště Praha, which manages the airport. The price changes are the result of acquisition of a 100% stake in previous operator Fast Food Services by Airest. The cost of the transaction was some CZK 350 million. The new owner took over 19 restaurants and launched a reconstruction, as well as price changes. It plans to offer a wide range of both traditional and buffet-style restaurants, cafes and fast food. This process should be concluded in the spring of next year.

"We are mainly lowering the prices of basic beverages. That means coffee, beer and non-alcoholic beverages," said Bernhard Kotlan, Airest's managing director. The aim is bring the pricise to the levels of neighbouring competition at airports in Vienna and Munich.

Fast food chains KFC and McDonald's introduced lower prices earlier. Airest's move is more important because its network covers some 60% of the overall refreshment space at the airport.

Pavel Hlinka, president of the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants, considers the price of EUR 3 for a small beer (some CZK 70) to be comparable with European airports. "The price may not, however, seem normal to the majority of the Czechs," Hlinka said. He thinks that the price could be lower if it weren't for the high rents of the airport space. "That is reflected in the end prices," Hlinka said. He thinks that airport restaurant customers are facing the same problem as a customers at restaurants in the mountains. They only have two options: take it or leave it.

For comparison, an espresso with milk, bought at the Brno airport Tuřany costs CZK 33 and a small Starobrno beer costs CZK 21.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.