On 3 February, Boryspil International Airport, the main air hub for Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, proudly announced the opening of an exhibition at Terminal D of 12 stylised portraits of prominent Ukrainian women-scientists and their stories. “Boryspil Airport is not only an enterprise where a large number of engineering and technical employees are women; it is also a public place where different people will have the opportunity to see this unique exhibition,” said Andriy Tarasenko, head of terminal complex at the airport.
Twenty-one days later, on 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine and Boryspil, located to the south-east of the capital, shut down – as did Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport, situated near the downtown area on the western side of the city. This smaller airport had Wizz Air as its main operator and served 1.4 million passengers in 2021.
Boryspil, meanwhile, handled 9.4 million passengers in 2021, some 62% of its pre-Covid level of 2019 and a significant rise over 2020. In its press release of 6 January, the airport said: “In 2021 we put increased effort into attracting new airlines and launching new routes and destinations. As of today, 38 airlines work with the Airport. Of these, nine airlines entered the market for the first time, and out of 117 operated destinations, 12 are new,” said director general Oleksiy Dubrevskyy.
Ukraine and its airports were on the up, as was cargo. In fact, the cargo terminal at Boryspil was operating almost at capacity and a new one was going to start construction this year. Today, terminals and the apron are silent. Boryspil’s website shows the flights that should be operating, for example Ukraine International Airlines to Tel Aviv, Wind Rose to Odessa, or Ryanair to Venice.
For Ukrainians, and many others, the clock stopped for normal life on 24 February. In the lead-up to this date we were all looking and planning for what the year would hold as people began travelling again. The prospect of a war in Europe was unthinkable.
Viewed through the lens of air transportation, the war has multiple deep impacts. The ostracism of Russia makes us wonder when we will see our industry colleagues from the country’s airports such as Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo at a Routes event again. Russia effectively turns into a domestic-only market. Sheremetyevo had enjoyed a strong 2021; its passenger numbers grew by over 50% to 31 million, making it one of the top three airports in Europe. What happens there and at other Russian airports is a major question mark for 2022.
As the articles in this issue testify, the market is picking up, albeit in very different ways and at different speeds in every region. Even for those that are untouched directly by the Russian invasion there are plenty of risks to growth, including rising fuel prices, increasing interest rates and the chance of further Covid variants.
These risks pale against the pictures we see on the news from Ukraine. The women-scientist portraits at Boryspil only gained a few admirers. We pray for the time we can see them again.
Featured in this issue
What does Net Zero carbon mean?
“As part of the route development community, we need to start thinking deeply about the impact we play in the future” David Stroud, Managing Director, ASM Organisations committing to achieve N...Read More
The Norse longships arrive
It takes a certain amount of nerve to set up a new airline during the worst crisis the aviation industry has ever suffered, but Bjørn Tore Larsen and his team at Norse Atlantic Airways (NAA) have don...Read More
The pandemic has made Scandinavia’s skies a turbulent backdrop to a swiftly changing airline scene in the region, as airlines close, reorganise or – in some cases – launch. (Alan Dron reports)...Read More
Routes news briefs
• United Airlines’ Mark Weithofer, director of domestic network planning, said his carrier expects transpacific traffic to be “depressed for a while,” although United has added new flights to ...Read More
According to this in-depth analysis from Ascend by Cirium, long-term demand will bounce back as the airline industry recovers from crisis, say Chris Seymour, head of market analysis, and Richard Evans...Read More
Abraham Foss, the chief executive of Norway’s airport and air navigation services operator Avinor, talks to Mark Pilling about the challenges of restoring the fortunes of this large and diverse grou...Read More
One of the biggest challenges for airports, airlines and handlers as traffic begins to revive is finding the right manpower when and where it is needed. ABM Aviation Services believes it has some of t...Read More
Independent ground handlers are seeking to raise their collective influence and add valuable services for their business needs via an invigorated global body: the Airport Services Association, writes ...Read More
Freedom for bags
The role of technology in the transformation of airports and travel is critical to revolutionise the world of baggage, argues Randel Darby, chief executive and founder of AirPortr, a baggage collectio...Read More
Aviation’s drive towards net zero emissions by 2050 means embracing a new way of thinking for the route development community, says David Stroud, managing director of global route development consul...Read More
Cargo focus pays dividends for WFS
Global handler, Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), has ridden out the pandemic in reasonable shape with a concentration on cargo, acquisitions and keeping strong with core customers. Its chief executive...Read More
Back to business
The US has been one of the markets that has recovered fastest from the ravages of the pandemic, and the industry met at Routes Americas 2022 to review progress. (Mike Miller reports) Masks were o...Read More
Avinor’s sustainability agenda
When it comes to the critical and global issue of sustainability, the group has a simple mission statement: “Avinor will be a driving force for environmental work in aviation.” At the end of 2020...Read More
The destructive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions that were implemented in response to it have combined to impede aviation’s recovery across the Asia Pacific. (By Tony Harr...Read More