Zhukovsky Airport handles the first passenger flight
The new Zhukovsky Airport (ZIA) began handling passenger flights on September 12. Belarusian national airline Belavia has become the first airline to operate to this airport, located near Moscow.
Originally, the flight was to be performed on an Embraer E175 regional jet, but the airline eventually decided to use a larger Boeing 737. Notably, the first flight to Zhukovsky was carried out by an airplane with a special livery dedicated to the computer game World of Tanks. . According to Igor Cherginets, deputy general manager of marketing at Belavia, 133 passengers flew to Zhukovsky and 87 passengers returned to Minsk on what will now be a daily flight.
By launching flights to the secondary airport in the Russian capital, Belavia is increasing the number of flights to Moscow – keeping its current flights to Domodedovo (this is made possible by the fact that the new airport has not been officially included in the Moscow aviation hub). The Belarusian carrier flies Boeing 737s and E195s to DME. Belavia is now negotiating the possibility of increasing the number of flights to Zhukovsky, as the operator sees the demand for such flights.
A total of 23 destinations from Zhukovsky have been approved today, including Europe (eg Germany), Israel and Turkey. First, these destinations will be served by UTair, Yamal, Urals Airlines and NordWind. “We are talking about October, today the so-called ‘R forms’ are being formalized, which is a necessary condition for the launch of these services. The works will be completed for the winter timetable, ”said Dmitry Shugaev, vice-chairman of the board of directors of Ramport Aero, the airport operator.
It is expected that airlines from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will begin flights to the new airport before the end of the year. In Kyrgyzstan, Air Manas won the corresponding competition, although it has already been reported that Air Kyrgyzstan should fly to Zhukovsky. Previously, the Kazakh airline SCAT also expressed the wish to cooperate with the new airport. “The main task for us now is international flights,” said Thomas Vayshvila, head of Ramport Aero.
The base carrier for the airport has not yet been determined. “Maybe Ural Airlines, maybe Yamal. There is no decision yet, but our airport is ready to work with any airline. We have no restrictions for this, negotiations are ongoing ”, – stressed Shugaev.
Zhukovsky Airport officially opened on May 30. The airport was expected to welcome its first passengers in June, but the date was subsequently postponed several times. Later it became known that the first flight to Zhukovsky would be operated by Belavia, and Yamal would begin flights in October. It was also reported that the Federal Air Transport Agency had granted requests from other Russian operators to make regular flights to the airport near Moscow.
Early forecasts suggest Zhukovsky Airport is expected to serve 2-3 million passengers in the first year of operation. By 2020, it was expected to more than triple the flow of passengers. The adjusted plan presented on September 12 stipulates that the airport can serve 350 to 400,000 passengers by the end of the year and around 2 million passengers in 2017.