The Odessa airport served 20.8 percent fewer passengers in the first nine months of this year, compared with the corresponding period of last year (660,100). International passenger traffic through the airport reduced by 23.2 percent and domestic passenger traffic reduced by 9.2 percent to 130,400 during this period. "The reduction is being observed because of the socio-political and economic situation in the country. The biggest reduction in passenger traffic was observed on flights to CIS countries: the number of passengers reduced by 45 percent. At the same time, the passenger traffic on flights to non-CIS countries reduced by only 10 percent. The 9,177 flights that were performed were 18.1 percent fewer than the number performed in the same period of last year," the press service of the airport told the Center for Transport Strategies.
According to forecasts by the airport’s management, the passenger traffic in 2014 will be at the level of 2012, i.e. between 850,000 and 900,000 passengers. "The airport is taking comprehensive anti-crisis measures, namely attraction of new carriers, marketing support for carriers, and optimization of our own operating expenses. In addition, the airport is not considering cutting its staff, as a matter of principle," the press service of the airport said. Regarding new carriers and flights, the Aeroflot airline (Russia) plans to resume flights to South Palmyra this month. The only question is the number of passengers.
The carrier appears to be optimistic by launching two flights per day. However, such a decision may have been dictated by a desire to squeeze competitors out of the Moscow-Odessa route with the aim of taking an advantageous position on the route when the armed conflicts end. In addition, the flydubai airline, which operates flights from Odessa to Dubai, will increase the number of its flights to two per week on October 26. The flights will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Passenger traffic through the Kharkov airport reduced by 21.5 percent to 361,300. The number of passengers on international flights passing through the airport reduced by 24.7 percent to 301,500 while the number of passengers on domestic flights passing through it remained unchanged at 59,800. The airport’s Commercial Director Vladyslav Illin told the Center for Transport Strategies that the number of passengers was projected to reduce by 25-30 percent to 400,000 this year. As an anti-crisis measure, the airport is working to reduce costs and holding negotiations with the airlines that previously suspended flights to the capital of Slobozhanschyna, including the Wizz Air, flydubai, and Aeroflot airlines. The Wizz Air Ukraine airline confirmed such negotiations. "We are constantly engaged in dialogue with airports, but a decision to launch flights depends on the economic and military-political situation in the country," Wizz Air Ukraine’s Commercial Director Vadym Tretiak told the Center for Transport Strategies.
In addition, the Kharkov airline is considering the possibility of launching flights to countries such as Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and it is holding the relevant negotiations with local carriers. New flights between Kharkov and Ivano-Frankovsk, which will connect Kharkov to the Bukovel ski resort, will be launched during the winter. The Dniproavia airline will use an Embraer-145 aircraft for the flights. In addition, regular flights from Kharkov to Sharjah will resume at the beginning of the winter tourist season on December 26.