Hub hindered by underdeveloped market, airport says

1 February 2010 (15:00)

‘Setting up hubs is a common thing among foreign airports. Given Koltsovo Airport’s advantageous geographical position and Sverdlovsk Region’s economic situation, we’ve got some excellent prospects for developing into a hub. Small airports are really having a hard time because they have to transfer passengers to Moscow first and only then take them further. Koltsovo, however, intends to compete with Moscow airports by eliminating the connecting flights problems. It’s obvious that connecting flights through Moscow have a number of drawbacks, particularly geographical ones,’ General Director of Yekaterinburg’s Koltsovo Airport Evgeniy Chudnovskiy announced at a recent press conference in Yekaterinburg.

‘However, before such a hub can be created, we definitely need to solve one pressing problem, I mean the so-called regional transfers. These are short hauls that transfer between 20 and 50 people within the distance of 1,000 km. The main trouble here is the lack of aircraft. A lot of air carriers have tried to come up with some solution in the past, but only one actually managed to succeed,’ he added.

‘Another challenge associated with the introduction of a hub is a need for a fixed schedule. At the moment, the airlines are not willing to move their slots, so we decided to motivate them with the help of discounts. In fact, the airlines have a great part to play in the creation of a hub,’ Chudnovskiy observed.

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