Prague - Romania regular flights history + TAROM:

There were regular direct (yet at first not non-stop) fls. PRG - BUH between WWI & WWII.
The first commercial flight between Prague and Bucharest was made before founding of ČSA by Compagnie internationale franco-roumaine de la navigation aérienne = CIDNA (Czechoslovak Gvmt. was partial shareholder) on 10th August 1921 on the route Paris - Strassbourg - Praha - Budapest - Bucharest - Istanbul, irregularly until Dec 1921.
Regularly from May 1922. ČSA had flown to Cluj between WWI & WWII as an intermediate landing on two routes ! :
Prague - Uzhhorod - Cluj - Bucharest and Prague - Uzhhorod - Cluj - Iaşi - Kijew - Brjansk - Moscow !

PRG - BUH route was & is operating after WWII, when both countries were part of Communist Eastern Europe. Both ČSA & TAROM had flown PRG-BUH route...
...Until 2003, when with the end of winter timetable TAROM ceased its last fls. to PRG on 29th Mar 2003.
Then, ČSA was the sole operator on this city pair, OK/RO code share was used. When Romania entered EU, ČSA recalled code-share agreement and had flown solely OK fls. (within EU, every airline can fly from anywhere to anywhere).
TAROM aircraft appeared at PRG at random only (once per year or even less).
TAROM entered SkyTeam Alliance later than ČSA. So, code-sharing on a line flown by ČSA ac was re-introduced. On 5th August 2013, TAROM started non-stop fls. thrice a week Cluj - PRG, using ATR-42 ac. See photos of TAROM ATR-42 in PRG.


Cluj is the biggest town in Transilvania (in German: Siebenbürgen, in Hungarian: Erdély, in Czech: Sedmihradsko, Transylvánie). Cluj (in German: Klausenburg, in Hungarian: Koloszvár, in Czech: Kluž).
During Ceauşescu regime, Comrade Ceauşescu added "Napoca" to the name of the town:
There was Dacian settlement "Napoca" on this place, later abandoned, then Roman settlement, then abandoned. Ceauşescu wanted to point-out older history of this place connected to Dacian predecessors of present Romanian nation, than early middle-ages Hungarian town, much enlarged by German (Saxonian) settlers.
Hence official name of the town CLUJ-NAPOCA.
I have noticed bill-board in Prague, inviting for this new destination, with a photo of beautiful medieval castle (see my photo "Hunedoara-nu-e_Cluj").
I have visited this castle twice in my life (sightseeing inside once only) and I slept in my tent few metres from its ramparts once (See my own 3 photos, incl. one taken from my tent in 2005 !!!).
So, I know very well, that this castle is not in Cluj town, nor in Cluj county.

bill-board in Prague

Hunedoara from-my-tent morning ... Hunedoara = Vajdahunyádvár

This is HUNEDOARA, originally in Hungarian: Vajdahunyádvár. Medieval seat of powerful noble family Hunyádi: lower nobility family of Romanian origin. When Romanian "voivoda" wanted to grow higher in the time when (for centuries, approx. 1.000 years) Transylvania was part of Hungarian Kingdom, he must get hungarized - its name, to speak Hungarian language fluently etc..
The best known of this noble family are:
Hunyady János (spelling now modernized to Hunyadi, in Romanian: Iancu de Hunedoara, born at Hunedoara castle), regent of Hungary, and his son Corvinus Matyás (he never used the term Corvinus, he called himself Hunyady Mátyás, born in Cluj town), Hungarian king (of Romanian origin !!!).
Matthias Corvinus was a King of Czech kingdom as well (Czech: MatyᚠKorvín) - special case in Czech history:
after some battles, Polish Jagiello and Hungarian Corvinus made agreement, that both of them are co-kings of Czech Kingdom: Jagiello governed in Bohemia, Corvinus in Moravia. His (not-legitimate) son János Corvinus was a Duke of Opava etc. (part of Northern Moravia).
Today, Hunedoara, together with castle Bran, are probably two most beautiful medieval castles in Romania.
Nowadays: There is a county of Hunedoara, its capital being Deva, as the town of Deva has more favorable position in the centre of this county, contrary to valley position of the town of Hunedoara. Counties (judeţul) Hunedoara & Cluj are divided by a third county: Alba (see enclosed maps).

Romania-administrative as of 2007 ... Romania-counties + shaded relief

Distance Cluj - Hunedoara by air = approx. 130 kms by road or railway = approx. 180 kms !
Hunedoara is not Cluj !
(A partial copy of this castle was built in Budapest amusement park in 1907 with the same name: Vajdahunyadvár).
As of winter timetable, TAROM started its own fls. BUH - PRG, using B737-700s on this line. I was unable to be at the airport for the first fl. on Oct 27th, 2013. TAROM had shown 737-700 in its RETRO-LIVERY on this occasion.
I went to the airport for the second fl. on wednesday Oct 30th. See photo of present-standard TAROM colours, PRG the 2nd fl. Oct 30th.

On Friday Nov 1st, TAROM fl. was delayed, instead of 737 flown by A318.
A318 is absolutely the smallest ac built by Airbus consortium. The same fuselage cross-section as whole A320 family (A318+A319+A320+A321). They differ in length only.
A318 is just 31 m 44 long, 2 m 39 cm shorter than A319. Wingspan of (original versions) of all four sub-types = 34 m 10 cm. A318 is almost 3 m shorter than its wingspan (unusual with jet commercial ac).
A319+A320+A321 have the same height of 11 m 76 cm. A318 has higher tail (in order to have bigger force necessary to stabilize shorter fuselage), total height = 12 m 51 cm.
Just 79 A318s were built out of a total of A320 family of 5.766 already built.
For much modernized versions A320NEOs family, Airbus doesn't offer A318 anymore.
Almost no airline flies A318 in Europe - just 3:
- Air France 18x A318s (occassionally on a reg. fl. to PRG, when there is low demand in both directions CDG-PRG-CDG, but I had a luck to see them in PRG just 2 or 3 times).
- British AW 2x A318 in special business class only config. for direct fls. from London CITY Airport to New York. A318 is capable of take/off from its very short runway. (Never possiblef to see them in continental Europe...).
Both airlines have all 4 sub-types of A320 family. All other airlines in the world operating A318 use also 1 or 2 or all 3 other sub-types of A320 family.
- TAROM 4x 318. TAROM is the only airline in the world flying JUST A318 version of A320 family !!!
(Some A318s are operated as VIP aircraft and their operators usually have just 1 A318 and very often no other member of A320 family, but these companies & Gvmts are no airlines. Most VIP narrow-body Airbuses are A319CJ /=CorporateJet/, like two operated by Czech Air Force for the Gvmt).
I hope that you enjoy detailed report with many details and related facts.

Použité fotografie jsou z archivu autora.

Pro WEB AFC zpracoval Petr Liška (listopad 2013)