Ukraine might attract budget airlines to Antonov airport
Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groysman called for the development of Antonov (Gostomel) airport and its transformation into a base for LCCs, including Ryanair that has recently canceled its plans to fly to Ukraine. He stated this at a meeting on the development of air communication and negotiation with low-cost carriers, the Cabinet reported.
The prime minister stressed that the strategy of attracting airlines to Boryspil – the largest international airport in Ukraine is understandable. But apart from it, there are two more airports in close proximity to the capital - Zhulyany and Gostomel. And they need to be developed as well, he added.
In this context, Groisman expressed the idea of the development of Gostomel airport, which today serves as the base for Antonov aircraft and Antonov Airlines, and turning it into a base for low-cost carriers, including Ryanair. The Prime Minister suggested developing project documentation for the development of Gostomel Airport with the definition of the costs of all necessary works.
"We now have to take a decision that will allow us to resolve several issues at once, including the abolition of any monopolies in Boryspil, the attraction of new air carriers and the reduction in the cost of tickets for our passengers," the PM said.
Following the results of the meeting, its participants decided to continue to attract low-costers to Ukraine, and also to work on the provision of conditions for low-cost carriers at Boryspil or Zhulyany airports for one year, and during this time to turn Gostomel into an airport for LCCs.
In addition, a condition should be made to low-cost carriers - that they agree to enter regional airports.
"The most important task is to work out a solution for the development of regional airports," Groisman said.
Antonov informed that a working group has already been formed to prepare a business plan for the use of the Antonov airfield in the town of Gostomel to service low-cost airlines.
"This airfield is certified by ICAO category 1, it can receive and send aircraft around the clock throughout the year. Currently, the airport is used as a port for cargo aircraft and flight tests. The development of its infrastructure in the direction of providing passenger services will be useful not only for the airport, but also for the region as a whole. One of the important factors will be the creation of new jobs," – Antonov noted.
The idea of attracting Ryanair to Gostomel is instead of Boryspil has been circulating in expert circles and earlier, however, the Minister of Infrastructure Vladimir Omelyan was against it.
Ryabikin also spoke out with the thesis that servicing low-cost airlines would be better at the airport in Gostomel than at the Boryspil airport.