Minsk reporting 20% growth this year; Belavia has launched eight routes in just 15 months; Etihad link to Abu Dhabi
Minsk International Airport, serving the capital of Belarus, is reporting passenger growth of 22% in the first eight months of this year. Operations at the airport are dominated by the national carrier which is responsible for around 70% of all flights and seat capacity. Passenger traffic doubled in just four years between 2003 and 2007 and the airport even reported modest growth (of 1.2%) in 2009, which for most airports across Europe was a difficult year.
Demand is quite seasonal with passenger numbers in August this year being three times higher than those achieved in February. Based on performance so far this year, the airport is on target to handle over 1.2 million passengers in 2010.
Belavia currently serves 27 destinations non-stop from the airport with its modest fleet of 737s, CRJs and TU-154s. Almost half of the airline’s network (by flights and seat capacity) is to destinations in Russia. Among western European cities served are Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris, Rome and Stockholm. There are currently no scheduled services to Spain. During the last 14 months, Belavia has started seven new routes, with a further new route to Batumi in Georgia starting next week. In chronological order, they are:
|11 June 2009||Beirut||Lebanon||1 (737)|
|10 August 2009||Amsterdam||Netherlands||3 (CRJ)|
|19 January 2010||Riga||Latvia||3 (CRJ)|
|15 April 2010||Moscow Vnukovo||Russia||6 (CRJ)|
|31 May 2010||Ekaterinburg||Russia||2 (737)|
|3 August 2010||Stockholm Arlanda||Sweden||3 (CRJ)|
|4 August 2010||Tehran||Iran||2 (737)|
|15 September 2010||Batumi||Georgia||2 (737)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database, airline website, OAG Max Online for w/c 6 September 2010|
Several foreign flag carriers also present
Just three other carriers operate at least daily flights to Minsk; airbaltic to Riga, Austrian to Vienna and Lufthansa to Frankfurt. However, several other flag carriers have less than daily flights to their hubs including CSA Czech Airlines, Estonian Air, Georgian Airways, LOT, Turkish Airlines and Turkmenistan Airlines. The last foreign carrier to start services to Minsk was Etihad Airways, which launched three times weekly services to Abu Dhabi in August 2008.