The second runway will be built at the national airport Minsk in 2018. Now the Minsk air harbor is being modernized. Soon new telescopic ladders and panoramic lifts will be installed there. Will low cost airlines come to Belarus? The TV program Week talked with director of the airport Dmitry Melikyan.
3.5 million passengers have already gone through the National Airport. Has the visa-free regime increased passenger traffic?
Dmitry Melikyan, Director General of RUE Minsk National Airport:
We have monitored exactly one month. We got 4,442 people who flew here on a visa-free regime. Germany, Poland, Italy, the UK, the United States, and Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands. And were exotic countries, including 22 people from Australia, who arrived here. This is Mozambique and Malaysia. Tourist from a total of 60 countries came here.
What about low cost airlines in Minsk airport?
I will explain the situation with regard to low cost companies. Vilnius, for example, does not have their base company. They have to attract companies that just fly. They do not have transit, their low cost companies that transport people... Yes, it is a cheap tour, it is, on the one hand, very well, but low cost companies earn in another way. They earn on luggage and on paid services that they offer on board.
Are there a lot of such airlines? It's a tasty morsel, isn't it?
They ask us about whether they can come here. We offer them services like we provide to other airlines. They ask us whether they can earn on luggage. But I refuse.
Our standard is that a person arriving at the airport has already paid for their 20kg of luggage and 8kg of carry-on luggage (this price is included in the ticket).
And there is no need to torture passengers. I believe that our people should receive high-quality services.
How will the national airport change in the coming years?
Modernization is underway, we are modernizing telescopic ladders, so-called sleeves, which connect with aircraft. They are fundamentally new, they are air-conditioned. And there is a possibility for wide-body aircraft to park near the terminal as well as the use of air bridges. In addition, we are installing three panoramic elevators. This is primarily for low-mobility groups. We are finishing the installation of several more platforms that will make it possible for low-mobility groups to move between floors. To date, the disabled passenger can get anywhere without others' help.
Now we are also building the second runway, which enables the Minsk national airport to receive all types of aircraft. The construction should be completed in 2018.