The issue of building airports is a priority for 2020, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“We will build an airport in Dnipro. We are not postponing anything: we will build airports in 2020. And not only in Dnipro,” he said during a press marathon in Kyiv on Thursday.
According to the head of state, funds for the construction of an airport in Dnipro may not be available in the current draft national budget, since the document has not yet been finalized and all amendments have not been made to it.
“We agreed that we are one team, and we will discuss the final budget together with the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister. They have not yet come to me with the final budget,” Zelensky said.
The president also said that a report from an independent commission on the construction of a bridge in Dnipro was almost ready. In a week, he plans to get it and consider it, after which he will be ready to talk about this construction project with Dnipro City Mayor Borys Filatov.
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry has decided to postpone corporatization of state-owned enterprise (SOE) Boryspil international airport, Director General Pavlo Riabikin said at a press conference at the airport on Thursday.
“There is no final government decision on the corporatization of the Boryspil airport, but at the level of the Infrastructure Ministry, during all consultations that lasted about six months, we decided to set aside the issue of corporatization and stay at the level of implementing corporate governance at the airport,” he said.
According to Riabikin, the issue of corporatization does not have a final decision today: the problem is that the main part of the property of the Boryspil airport belongs to the category of property that cannot be included the charter capital and cannot be privatized – this is, first of all, the entire airfield. If we compare the cost of these facilities with what can be transferred as part of the corporatization – the ratio is about three to one, the director of the airport said.
He said that, in theory, this can be solved by a separate law, as it was done with Ukrzaliznytsia, or by introducing elements of corporate governance, leaving now the status of SOE.
“Corporatization with such a large amount of property that does not enter the enterprise will necessitate the creation of two enterprises, one of which will manage the part of the property that cannot be privatized, the second – the terminals. And in the future, this may create problems, for example, attraction of loans from European financial institutions,” the director of the airport said.
At the same time, he said that the enterprise needs such a body as a supervisory board.
On May 22, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the composition of the supervisory board of the Boryspil airport, consisting of three independent members and two state representatives.
Ukraine from January 1, 2019 will stop issuing visas on arrival for foreign citizens at international airports, said State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andriy Zayats.
“From January 1, the issuance of visas at international airports will cease and the functionality of the electronic visa will expand,” Zayats told the Kyiv-based ezine LB.ua.
According to him, the Foreign Ministry acknowledged that the issuance of visas at the airport is neither modern nor effective, since some foreigners do not speak English, and some foreigners do not have a banking card, with which they can pay the consular fee.
In 11 months of 2018, about 35,000 visas have been issued at the airports of Ukraine.
Zayats said that the functionality of the electronic visa will now be expanded by increasing the number of states whose citizens will be able to issue it, adding that the list of purposes to be issued an e-visa is expanding.
“Now the purpose is only a tourist or business trip. From January 1, treatment and private trips to visit relatives are added to this. Visas for journalists are added. So, we block almost all non-immigration types of travel with electronic visas,” the diplomat said.
He said that the e-visa fee will be set at $85 from January 1, while the consular fee for entry into Ukraine will be set at $65.
The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine plans to create 50 airports in Ukraine, five of which will be international aviation hubs, and 20 more will service international flights.
“In the aviation industry, we see the creation of 50 airports throughout Ukraine. We are not talking about 50 Boryspil airports. We talk at least about five international hubs, at least 20 airports that will provide international communication, as well as about 20 that will be service flights to the regions,” Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan said at the presentation of the Ukrainian transport strategy until 2030 on Thursday evening.
According to him, the average time, which should take to reach an airport from anywhere in the country, should be reduced to one hour.
As for the development of the aviation industry, it is planned to open 350 destinations for flights from all airports in Ukraine.
Earlier, Omelyan announced the creation of two new airlines in Ukraine.
Ireland’s low cost airline Ryanair is holding talks with five Ukrainian airports on launching flights and hopes to start flying to new destination to Ukraine in 2019, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said in an interview with the Ukrainian Tourism Newspaper. “Now we are negotiating with five more Ukrainian cities – maybe next summer we will open our flights there. I think we will develop in Ukraine very aggressively and rapidly increase the pace of our presence in the market,” he said.
At the same time, O’Leary expressed regret that the airline cannot yet launch all the destinations from Ukraine that it would like to launch, in connection with the existing restrictions in intergovernmental agreements.
He also said that Kyiv remains the key destination for the airline. When asked if negotiations with the airports of such cities as Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kherson and Vinnytsia are being conducted, O’Leary said that the negotiations are being held “almost with all the mentioned cities.”
“I will be very glad if next summer we will be able to offer our passengers flights to such a beautiful city as Odesa, but it is too early to talk about the specifics. Our and Ukrainian negotiators still need to work hard for the successful implementation of this project,” the Ryanair CEO said.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure considers it necessary to invest in the construction and repair of runways at regional airports, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan has said on the air of Channel Five. “A lot of airlines are ready to enter Ukrainian regional airports, but there are no conditions for that. There are no runways, there are no terminals that would accelerate servicing, while this is one of the key issues for low cost air carriers. Therefore we must invest in the runways as a state to get a highly competitive market and business for the state as well,” he said.
According to Omelyan, the development of airports will ensure a quick return on investment. Earlier, the minister said that the reconstruction of the airport in Odesa is to be completed in 2019. It is also planned to additionally allocate UAH 1.17 billion for the construction of a runway at Odesa airport. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the construction of a new runway will allow Odesa airport to accept heavier aircraft, including Boeing-767, which, in turn, can double passenger traffic.