Minsk airport reports a 32.6 per cent freight volume growth in Q1
Even though the main Belarusian capital airport is now working at 15 per cent of its 2019 levels
As for all other airports around the world stricken by the collapse in passenger traffic due to restrictions imposed by the spread of Coronavirus, Minsk airport, which serves the capital of Belarus, has seen an acute decline in the number of flights.
Mass cancellations of flights began in mid-March and, as of now, some 76 per cent of the airport’s flight schedules have been cancelled. The airport is currently handling an average of 15 or 16 passenger flights and three freight flights a day, the Belarus’ biggest airport reports. This is at best 15 per cent of its average daily performance in April 2019 when it handled between 120 and 125 flights per day.
In the first quarter of this year, which includes the devastating second half of March, Minsk handled a total of 938,701 passengers (up by 0.2 per cent year on year) on 5,864 flights (down by 4.5 per cent). Currently the airport is handling the few remaining scheduled flights, as well as repatriation charters bringing Belarusian citizens home. Although the reduced operations have forced the airport to send some staff on leave, it is nevertheless continuing to provide round-the-clock handling of cargo flights. In the first quarter, the airport saw a 32.6 per cent increase in freight volumes, up to 4,792 tonnes, compared with the same period of last year.
To support the healthcare initiatives and to encourage the flow of freight traffic, Minsk has introduced 50 per cent discounts off service fees for handling those freight services carrying pharmaceuticals products and medical equipment. In addition, a similar discount has been applied on wholesale volumes of cargo arriving by road via the airport’s transport and logistics centre.
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