Traffic through Kyiv Zhulyany Airport surges 70 per cent

Wizz Air, Belavia, Bravo Airways, flydubai and YanAir generated the majority of the airport's passenger traffic (Photo by Oleg Belyakov / Zhulyany Airport)

Kyiv’s Zhulyany Airport continues to grow its traffic at impressive rates. In November it handled 92,700 passengers, up 70.2% compared to the same month last year. In October the year-on-year growth rate reached 59.7%, in September it was 17.7%, in August 31% and in July 36.2%. Industry experts explain that the November surge may be an indication of the market’s recovery from last year’s crisis caused by suspension of air connection between Russia and Ukraine, and the collapse of Russia’s Transaero airline in October 2015.

This year the airport has attracted new carriers, launched new destinations and increased frequencies on the existing routes. The number of passengers who traveled on international lines reached 85,800, whereas 6,900 passengers flew inside the country. The number of aircraft movements increased 24.8% to 1521.

One of the factors that helped the airport overcome the negative effects of the ban on flights to Russia was growth of transit connections operated by Belarusian Belavia. In one year that passed since last November this airline became Zhulyany’s largest contributor of passenger traffic. However, according to the airport’s chairman of the board Denis Kostrzhevskiy, the airport still has not completely recovered from the exit of Transaero, which stopped flying to Kyiv on October 6, 2015. It dealt a blow to the airport, but “new carriers have come, like Belavia and Bravo Airways. So the number of passengers served in the summer season has neared the pre-crisis level,” he told Ukrainian publication Business.

In particular, UAE-based low-cost carrier flydubai increased its frequency from Zhulyany in November.

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air opened two new destinations – Hannover and Wroclav, and is now the largest contributor of passenger traffic, according to Kostrzhevskiy.

The most popular international destinations from Zhulyany this November were Dubai, Minsk, Budapest, Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurgada.

Passenger traffic between Ukraine and Turkey is also growing. According to Turkey’s ambassador in Ukraine, in the last ten months the number of Ukrainian tourists in Turkey grew 50%, the reverse traffic increased 25%.

Among domestic destinations the most popular were Odessa, Zaporozhye and Lviv.

Further growth of passenger traffic and attraction of new carriers to the airport could be facilitated by implementation of the open sky regime and loosened visa requirements, Zhulyany executives believe.

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