The list of 103 priority investment projects until 2023, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at a meeting on Wednesday, includes 14 airports.
According to the accompanying documents to the decree, in particular, in the specified list, the resumption of core activities and further development of the international airport in Cherkasy; reconstruction of the airfield of Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport; reconstruction of the international airport in Chernivtsi (all are funded from the state and local budgets, investor funds).
In addition, the priority is given to modernization of the material and technical base of Kherson International Airport (funding from the state and local budgets, credit funds); reconstruction of the international airport in Vinnytsia, the international airport in Odesa (the third stage of construction); the international airport in the city of Dnipro; construction of a new airport in Zakarpattia; reconstruction of the international airport in Poltava (all are funded from the state and local budgets, investor funds).
In addition, it is planned to renew the infrastructure of Rivne International Airport municipal enterprise (exclusively at the expense of the investor); to renovate the runway, buildings, networks of Sumy Airport municipal enterprise (at the expense of the state and local budgets, investor funds, credit funds); to reconstruct international airports in Kryvy Rih and Mykolaiv (at the expense of the state and local budgets, investor funds); to reconstruct and modernize the airport in Zhytomyr (at the expense of the investor and the state budget).
Zaporizhia and Lviv international airports, the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE), Azur Air Ukraine and SkyUp Airlines have sent a joint letter to the president, the prime minister and the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine with a request for state support for the aviation industry amid pandemic.
“Already today, judging by the losses incurred by the entire aviation market, it is possible to predict not only a complicated recovery process, but also the non-return of many participants to work in principle. The industry itself may be in danger of extinction,” the report says.
The companies note a serious lack of resources for fulfilling financial obligations to pay wages, service loans, make lease payments, under agreements with foreign partners, etc.
The airlines have compiled a list of measures adapted to Ukrainian realities that, in their opinion, must be taken to preserve the aviation industry. In particular, they ask to provide the industry with irrevocable financial assistance for the payment of wage arrears and tax holidays for taxes paid in connection with its payment. In addition, they ask for targeted, non-repayable assistance to pay off debts that have formed since the quarantine began in the country for services provided to aviation businesses by state enterprises and organizations.
Ukraine has opened all border checkpoints at airports, Boryspil International Airport (Kyiv region) has accepted its first flight on the route Minsk (Belarus)-Kyiv.
According to Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy, Lufthansa flights are planned this week on the route Frankfurt-Kyiv-Frankfurt, KLM on the route Amsterdam-Kyiv-Amsterdam, SWISS International Airlines on the Zurich-Kyiv-Zurich route, Belavia on the route Minsk-Kyiv-Minsk.
In addition, according to the minister, Wizz Air Hungary plans from June 16 to fly from Ukraine to Austria, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia, Estonia and the United Kingdom, it has already received the relevant permits. And from June 21, the Irish company Ryanair plans to fly from Kyiv to Barcelona, Madrid and Krakow (permits for flights are expected).
Ukrainian companies will begin to carry out international flights from June 22, the minister said.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has included all airports in the Kyiv and Chernivtsi regions in the list of airports located in the affected areas with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection.
According to a message published on the EASA website on May 12, the list of risky airports was developed in coordination with EASA member states and is based on information from the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and other reputable public health institutes.
The updated list takes effect on May 14. In total, airports from 32 countries of the world, including in the United States, Russia and Great Britain, were included in the risk list.
Ukrainian airports in January-March 2020, according to recent data, served 4.025 million passengers, which is 8.9% less than in the same period in 2019.
According to the website of the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine, in international traffic, the passenger flow of Ukrainian airports decreased in the indicated period by 7.4%, to 3.631 million people.
According to the service, in January-March 2020 Ukrainian airlines served almost 1.954 million people, which is 17.3% less than the figure for the same period of 2019. Of these, 1.757 million people were transported in international traffic (a decrease of 17.1% compared to January-March 2019).
At the same time, for the three months of 2020 Ukrainian airlines operated 16,900 commercial flights (a decrease of 16.3%), including 14,200 international flights (a decrease of 14.5%).
As reported, in 2019 Ukrainian airports served 24.337 million passengers, which is 18.5% more than in 2018.
The head of the office of the National Investment Council of Ukraine, Olha Mahaletska, predicts a decrease in the interest of potential investors in regional airports, according to the website of the council. “Previously, one of the most attractive areas for investment was infrastructure, namely, concession of airports, but after the pandemic the world will change, the focus of interest will change. I do not think that now regional airports will be considered by potential investors as one of the most interesting topics,” she notes.
According to Mahaletska, the council is already conducting the sector analysis to understand which areas may be attractive to investors in the post-pandemic period.
At the same time, the council said, with reference to professor at Georgetown University Anders Aslund, that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian economy will be in a slightly better position than the economy of the European Union: while the EU will lose about 10% of GDP in 2020, Ukraine will lose about 8%.
The head of the office said that the timely introduction by the Ukrainian government of a quarantine was a very correct decision, which helped contain the spread of the disease in the country.