Kyiv International Airport named after Sikorsky has started a phased reduction of its employees, amid the crisis in the aviation industry due to the coronavirus pandemic, the airport’s press service has said. Currently, the airport division is deciding whom of the employees to dismiss and how to optimize the operation of the enterprise.
“We predict a slow recovery in demand for air travel and expect a return to the pre-quarantine level in only a few years. We cannot survive on our own without support from the state. Unfortunately, we will have to fire 50% of the staff, including highly qualified specialists of the industry,” director general of Master-Avia management company Oleh Levchenko said.
The airport also stressed that the problem was also aggravated by a lack of reaction and assistance from the government, the relevant ministry and Kyiv authorities, despite the fact that the airport management had repeatedly appealed to the authorities for help.
In total, according to the enterprise, about 2,000 people work at the airport and Master-Avia. Another 8,000 employees work in related enterprises that cooperate with the airport.
Kyiv Airport is the second Ukrainian airport in terms of passenger traffic.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a working trip to Kherson region has inspected the reconstruction progress at the Kherson International Airport.
“The head of state was informed that an investment project had begun in 2019 to ensure aircraft landing in the evening and at night, as well as in difficult weather conditions. The project has received over UAH 46 million from the State Regional Development Fund and more than UAH 5 million of regional development funding. The project’s implementation has already been funded by more than UAH 11 million. The opening of the airport’s updated lighting system is scheduled for September this year,” the presidential press service said on Friday.
In addition, the regional airport development program for 2018-2020 is currently being implemented. Routine runway repairs have been carried out, workers have been trained to launch the Kherson-Krakow flight, and additional equipment has been acquired to improve the quality of passenger service. The Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise also decided to update landing systems at the airport in 2020.
“All this will allow the airport to get the first category of aircraft landing according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards,” the report says.
Head of Kherson Regional State Administration Yuriy Husiev stressed that the airport is strategic.
“In the south, this is one of the very important hubs, and I would like it to become a hub for flights from Mykolaiv, Kherson regions. Even from Zaporizhia they come to us because Ryanair launched very popular flights,” he said.
At the same time, the question remains of reconstructing the runway, updating the fleet of aircraft.
Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy said the total cost of the full restoration of the runway is UAH 1.2-1.5 billion, and UAH 910 has been spent on it this year. He added with the president’s support the amount of funding may be increased this year.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has installed the first laboratory for PCR and antibody tests at Boryspil International Airport (Kyiv region).
UIA President Yevhen Dykhne said on Facebook that now the laboratory will be used to test UIA crews, however, it will also be able to provide for the needs of departing or arriving passengers, if the arrival country requires a corresponding certificate.
“For example, Tunisia, with which air traffic will soon be restored, allows free border crossing with the availability of a PCR test,” he added.
Dykhne said that a PCR test currently has the highest specificity and sensitivity, in contrast to rapid tests. The material for analysis is a throat swab, and the analysis takes three hours. At the same time, a possible simultaneous loading of the laboratory is 96 samples.
In addition, he said the laboratory also provides for the option of an urgent PCR test of one individual sample within 40 minutes and testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which allows to determine the earlier infection and the presence of immunity (the test material is blood from a vein, the speed is 86 tests per hour).
International airport “Kyiv” named after Sikorsky began to accept international passenger flights, the airport’s website said in a statement.
The airport launches only eight flights out of 28 flights on June 17: Belavia flight to Minsk, Wizz Air flights to Dortmund, Budapest, London (Luton), Memmingham, Tallinn and Copenhagen, as well as Motor Sich flight to Zaporizhia. The airport also receives eight flights on arrival on Wednesday.
Only four flights out of 28 are available for departure in the schedule for June 18, and eight flights are available for arrival.
Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport has canceled all regular international passenger flights until 03:00 on June 17, 2020 due to the extension of the COVID-19 quarantine in the capital, the airport’s website reports.
The reason for the cancellation of flights at the airport is cabinet resolution No. 392 of May 20, 2020.
Passengers are advised to closely monitor the flight schedule and clarify information with the airline representatives.
As reported, on June 12 the Cabinet of Ministers lifted the temporary ban on entry to Ukraine for foreigners and resumed operation of 15 checkpoints for air traffic at international airports.
The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine is preparing for building an airport in Mukachevo (Zakarpattia region), Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy has said.
“Now it is very important to maintain and develop regional airports. After all, during the pandemic, domestic tourism will remain a priority,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.
According to him, the reconstruction of the runway at the Odesa International Airport is also currently being completed (98% readiness); the airport is being modernized in Dnipro (the new runway, international and VIP terminals); the runway at the Kherson airport is improving; installation of aeronautical equipment at the Mykolaiv airfield is nearing completion.