Soldiers have begun vacating the Mariupol airport building, the 0629.com.ua website reports, citing the headquarters of Sector M. The building will be completely vacated by Monday to allow repair work to begin.
As explained at the headquarters, the soldiers will move to a new location designated by the Mariupol city authorities, which has been kept secret.
The move is dictated by the fact that the airport is scheduled to resume operation in May. According to the press service of the Donetsk regional administration, the airport premises need repair and the region has the money for this. As reported, the region as has allocated UAH 700 million for financing restoration of Mariupol’s infrastructure.
The first flights from Mariupol will be to the Ukrainian capital. Weekly charter flights to Antalya (Turkey) are scheduled to begin in July. Residents of Mariupol will also be able to fly to European capitals by the end of the year. Flights to Greece are not yet being planned.
"The Mariupol airport should become the main airport in the Donetsk region. New terminals will be built here in the future. It will be able to fully replace the Donetsk airport within a few years," the press service said.
Ukrainian troops occupied the Mariupol airport in the spring of 2014, when militants from the Donetsk People’s Republic captured the city. Soldiers lived there, interrogations were conducted there, and military personnel were trained there.