BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2807 posts, RR: 3 Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3413 times:
Interesting plan to develop the Kaliningrad area, a Russian enclave now surrounded by EU borders. Its location might hav egreat potential when properly exploited, and it seems the iniative is there (a car factory was opened earlier). I hope they'll be able to go ahead with this plan and make it the "Hong Kong of Russia"! But they have a long way to go still.
Plans are under way to develop Kaliningrad's airport as an international hub. Formerly called Koningberg, the city is now separated from Russia by the pre-Baltic States that are now a part of the European Union.
What gives this airport a prospect of achieving its target is an agreement with one of Russia's oil majors--not Yukos--to offer fuel at prices some 25-30% below normal market levels. The Russian government, the Kaliningrad regional government and the airport certification division of CIS aviation authority MAK-The Interstate Aviation Committee, are all involved in the planning work, and a first step now underway includes a detailed business plan. A tax-free industrial estate is also being considered adjacent to the airport.
The first element calls for the development of a cargo hub, allowing freight from Southeast Asia to arrive in the city in Ilyushin Il-76 freighters that are barred from Western Europe by noise regulations, and to be transhipped by air or surface for the relatively short distances involved.
Once the runways, taxiways and terminals meet international standards and are so certificated, a passenger hub will be offered with the same fuel advantage.
The business plan is expected to be completed by Oct., when the airport will seek business and financial partners for the development.
Traveler_7 From Estonia, joined May 2000, 540 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3262 times:
25-30% discount on fuel could attract some airlines, especially those dealing with Cargo. But would it reduce ticket price enough to attract passengers? I don't think that it would be easy to develop a hub. Idea sounds a bit unrealistic, but who knows.
"pre-Baltic States" quite an interesting expression
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4210 posts, RR: 36 Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3135 times:
Yes, Russia being so fuzzy about visa will make it not work. Europeans and others have to request it weeks in advance, show invitations or hotel bookings and pay a lot, that turned many people off from even trying to visit Russia. Maybe visa free is too much but just an affordable visa you can buy at arrival will make it work.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2807 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3120 times:
Yes, I hadn't thought of that - in spite of all hassle I've had myself each time I needed to get one. Well, Hong Kong and Macau are still on old visa regime so that foreigners can come and go, as well as the locals, but once they cross the border into mainland China, they need visas. That might be the solution here, but given the Russian bureaucracy that's just a magic dream for now. Well, I guess they will have to stick to the amber business for now then...
Khrabrovo International Airport is located 24km north of Kaliningrad, east off the Zelenogradsk highway. The airport, part of which is still military, is a bare landing strip with few frills for passengers. SAS and Aeroflot are the only commercial carriers. The international terminal is 3km from the domestic terminal.
Drivers have little respect for the road and police stop motorists often. Major city streets and the roads linking Kaliningrad city with the coast are OK, but less travelled roads can have huge potholes and be unpaved.
Traveler_7 From Estonia, joined May 2000, 540 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3074 times:
BuyantUkhaa, I do not want to destroy your dreams. This is nice idea. So who knows perhaps one day you will travel with transfer in Kaliningrad. You know some times even more fantastic ideas become a reality.
MEA-707 I remember a few years ago Russia was thinking about something like you propose, but did not implement it
Traveler_7 From Estonia, joined May 2000, 540 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2906 times:
I remember once LOT landed on a wrong (military used) runway.
Russian authorities were holding aircraft for some time before returning it. If to develop a hub, one should do some think to avoid such confusions in the future.
Adriaticflight From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 511 posts, RR: 3 Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2700 times:
This makes me laugh. I don't any pasangers would want to use Kaliningrad as a transit point. Look at places like Spingapore or Dubai, they have state of the art airports and great facilities. Kaliningrad is a deeply isolated and economicly backward area. It offers almost nothing of interest for tourists. If Ryanair or easyjet want a hub in the area they should choose KAUNUS or VILNIUS, yet to be touch by low cost airlines and bother very nice.
But I wish good luck to Kaliningrad, the place has suffered (first Nazis/Soviets and now capitalism hasn't been kind to the place). The European Union should help the area as if its already in the EU, its surrounded by it after all.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2684 times:
I'd agree about the visa problem - until Russia sorts out their frankly antiquated visa regime - a letter of invite, indeed ! For heaven sake ! - this type of hub venture is a non-starter. It is also not doing inbound tourism in general any favours - I mean, who are they trying to keep out ? The hordes of EU citizens desperate to move to Russia for the excellent economic opportunities ?
Zvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 65 Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2693 times:
I live in Vilnius. It has transfer facilities, but I'm told that no one has ever used them -- ever. I think Kaliningrad has more potential as a hub than Vilnius. Kaunas makes no sense at all. It is probably the most xenophobic city in Europe and doesn't have a commercial airport. Foreigners (not to mention the 20% of Lithuanian citizens who don't speak Lithuanian) are absolutely unwelcome in Kaunas.
"'pre-Baltic States' is indeed hilarious"
It's just taken literally from Russian and local languages (pribaltik). From the Russian perspective, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are "before the Baltic".
I don't know how the EU could open up much to Kaliningrad without opening up to all of Russia. On the other hand, Russia could open up Kaliningrad to the EU at huge benefit to the local economy. There has been much talk of transforming Kaliningrad into the Hong Kong of Europe but, sadly, no implementation.
Low landing fees, cheap fuel, and visa free access would do wonders.
BuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2807 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2648 times:
So it seems general consensus here at the forum is that when Russia would drop the visa requirements for Kaliningrad, it would have great potential. If I were the Russian government, I'd find this a fascinating experiment. But obviously I'm not, so I just keep hoping...
By the way there's an article (in Russian only) about the Russian transport minister Igor Levitin starting the RUR 600m reconstruction works at Kaliningrad a few weeks ago:
Zvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 65 Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2598 times:
BuyantUkhaa, thanks for the links. It reads that 474,000 passengers arrived in 2003, but that it should be able to accommodate 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 per year (not sure whether that is before or after renovation) with a peak capacity of 400 passengers per hour (arrivals, I think). Sorry, my Russian is not as good as my English.