SCQ83
Topic Author
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Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:36 am

Only two years ago in June 2017, the Schengen Area ended visas for Ukrainian citizens. By around the same time, Wizz Air and Ryanair entered the market. While 5 years ago CNN showed images of a war-torn Ukraine, Kyiv or Lviv are now some of the hottest hotspots for a city-break in Europe. HBO's Chernobyl has only added more fuel.

Traffic growth in Ukraine's main airports in the last 5 years is mind-blowing and so far it doesn't show any sign of slowing down.

KBP (Kyiv Boryspil):

2012 (pre-war): 8,478,000 PAX
2014 (war): 6,890,443 PAX
2018: 12,603,300 PAX
2019: +18,1% YoY January-May https://open4business.com.ua/boryspil-i ... n-jan-may/


IEV (Kyiv Zhuliany):

2012 (pre-war): 862,000 PAX
2014 (war): 1,090,120 PAX
2018: 2,812,300 PAX
2019: +44,3% YoY January-March https://open4business.com.ua/kyiv-sikor ... -44-in-q1/


LWO (Lviv)

2012 (pre-war): 576,000 PAX
2014 (war): 585,200 PAX
2018: 1,598,700 PAX
2019: +51,2% YoY January-May https://open4business.com.ua/lviv-airpo ... fic-by-50/


Where is the limit for this boom in VFR, stag-party/dark tourism, business and UIA connections?
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:11 pm

The thing that surprises me is that outside Kiev, Lviv ,Odessa, Kharkiv and maybe Zaporizhia, there is very little air traffic.

Distances are large and trains are slow. Yes there are small numbers of flights appearing but the amount of Ukraine-originating traffic is considerably smaller than I would have expected
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:13 pm

Is ukraine the new (British) non summer party destination? [sarcasm] great [/sarcasm]
It's a locust plague swarming from city to city. Amsterdam, Prague, Gdansk and now Ukraine?

I still wonder if Ukraine can support a bigger hub and spoke network, how is the UA economy doing? Russian/CIS and eastern Europe connections could prove really lucrative if connections are good. Do you need a visa to transfer in for example Kiev?





btw let's not get in to a russian-ukraine political discussion
Last edited by FlyRow on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MIflyer12
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:13 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Where is the limit for this boom in... stag-party/dark tourism?


How many Brits will they tolerate puking on their sidewalks? Ask Prague about its experience.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:22 pm

FlyRow wrote:
Is ukraine the new (British) non summer party destination? [sarcasm] great [/sarcasm]
It's a locust plague swarming from city to city. Amsterdam, Prague, Gdansk and now Ukraine?


There is no sarcasm. Obviously Ukraine is the new booming stag party / city-break destination. It has it all: dirty cheap booze and food, "friendly" locals happy to meet Western guys and it is exotic (Chernobyl, Euromaidan). The only thing they didn't have were affordable and non-stop flights to any city in Western Europe and now they got them.
 
Blerg
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:23 pm

I give it three years until traffic starts to stabilize and until it reaches a certain level after which UIA will play a key role in fueling growth.

Look at Sofia, both Wizz Air and Ryanair massively expanded some years ago. The airport was booming for two years while this year, growth has been really modest. Same will happen to Kiev and the rest of Ukraine.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:33 pm

Blerg wrote:
I give it three years until traffic starts to stabilize and until it reaches a certain level after which UIA will play a key role in fueling growth.

Look at Sofia, both Wizz Air and Ryanair massively expanded some years ago. The airport was booming for two years while this year, growth has been really modest. Same will happen to Kiev and the rest of Ukraine.


But Bulgaria was already more "mainstream" than Ukraine even before FR/W6 expanded massively in SOF. Bulgarians were already EU citizens that could travel/live in Western Europe. Burgas/Varna were already relatively well stablished holiday resorts. Bulgaria is also a small country (7 million).

Ukraine has +40 million people (only comparable to Poland in Eastern Europe) and the country was quite undiscovered for Western tourists. It is probably more comparable to the Poland of 15-20 years ago.

For instance KRK data

2003 593,214
2008 2,923,961
2013 3,647,616
2018 6,769,369


GDN data

2003 365,036
2008 1,954,166
2013 2,843,737
2018 4,980,647


Those 2003 Gdansk and Krakow figures are hard to believe today. Both GDN and KRK have multiplied their traffic numbers by more than 10 times in 15 years. Lviv (the Ukrainian Krakow) had in 2013 the number of PAX Krakow had in 2003. Will traffic at LWO be 10 times bigger in 2028 than in 2013?
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:39 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
Is ukraine the new (British) non summer party destination? [sarcasm] great [/sarcasm]
It's a locust plague swarming from city to city. Amsterdam, Prague, Gdansk and now Ukraine?


There is no sarcasm. Obviously Ukraine is the new booming stag party / city-break destination. It has it all: dirty cheap booze and food, "friendly" locals happy to meet Western guys and it is exotic (Chernobyl, Euromaidan). The only thing they didn't have were affordable and non-stop flights to any city in Western Europe and now they got them.


Wait untill you discover the downside to this. Tourism is nice, drunken antisocial behavior due to cheap booze/drugs/bad attitude isn't. And I love britain, but there abroad (stag) parties. no way.

The "great" was more a -> Good Luck Ukraine.
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Blerg
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:44 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Blerg wrote:
I give it three years until traffic starts to stabilize and until it reaches a certain level after which UIA will play a key role in fueling growth.

Look at Sofia, both Wizz Air and Ryanair massively expanded some years ago. The airport was booming for two years while this year, growth has been really modest. Same will happen to Kiev and the rest of Ukraine.


But Bulgaria was already more "mainstream" than Ukraine even before FR/W6 expanded massively in SOF. Bulgarians were already EU citizens that could travel/live in Western Europe. Burgas/Varna were already relatively well stablished holiday resorts. Bulgaria is also a small country (7 million).

Ukraine has +40 million people (only comparable to Poland in Eastern Europe) and the country was quite undiscovered for Western tourists. It is probably more comparable to the Poland of 15-20 years ago.

For instance KRK data

2003 593,214
2008 2,923,961
2013 3,647,616
2018 6,769,369


GDN data

2003 365,036
2008 1,954,166
2013 2,843,737
2018 4,980,647


Those 2003 Gdansk and Krakow figures are hard to believe today. Both GDN and KRK have multiplied their traffic numbers by more than 10 times in 15 years. Lviv (the Ukrainian Krakow) had in 2013 the number of PAX Krakow had in 2003. Will traffic at LWO be 10 times bigger in 2028 than in 2013?


Yes, that's all true for Sofia but equally so neither W6 nor FR aggressively expanded there. Their operations were on autopilot and they were expanding organically without going on adventures and stimulating demand through price dumping and so on like they did some two, three years ago. Interestingly enough, let's see what happens with Air Serbia's INI operations as they got government subsidies to expand there and to attract passengers from the wider region, the same region from which Sofia gets its passengers.

Ukraine on the other hand is experiencing massive outbound tourism since visas were removed. In addition to that, many have emigrated with more doing so every day. All these have the opportunity to fly back home more often than they did some years ago. Also, many airlines are victims of FR's growth in Ukraine. British Airways suspended Kiev while both Aegean and Air France have turned their flights to seasonal ones. I think there will be a lot of victims in this war and those with higher costs will be the first to suffer.
 
devron
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:01 pm

Happy I was there before the boom. But the limit not sure look at poland a bit more mature and still growing.
 
konkret
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:33 pm

The growth of low cost carriers in Ukraine is not only fueled by people visiting the country but also by large number of Ukrainians who are working abroad to support their families back home. Also almost every family who could afford this sent their children to study abroad, so they could avoid possible war related turmoil (and - in case of boys - being drawn to the army).
 
oceanvikram
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:45 pm

I think there are 2 (off) reasons for the growth which others have posted; ie. sex tourism market and the VFR market.

The increase in VFR market makes sense to me because if I was living in Ukraine (this example would be very much related to Iran and Hong Kong today) maybe 2 years before the annexation, I would strongly consider leaving or in the process of leaving and taking not only my family but my extended family as well. I would also try to convince my friends and their family to leave too. So those who left are either returning or most likely VFR. I will go further that most would have left predominantly for Western Europe, Canada or the GCC (I will explain this in the next paragraph). Those in Western Europe can travel on a monthly bases (finance permitting) as it may not affect their work and a 2 to 3 day trip is feasible due to short travelling times.

The 2nd reason is the sex tourism, an armed conflict has always created the perfect situation for the exploitation of the week (standard human modus operandi). Casing point, I knew a guy who travels from Perth, Australia to Ukraine to meet, as he puts it, his girlfriend (younger than his 28 year old daughter). Even during the conflict he travelled there and said it was quite safe provided one stays away from the battle zone. So if he is travelling all the way from Oz to Ukraine, just imagine the amount of sex tourists coming from Western Europe. Sadly I would not be surprised that there are young women have been trafficked to Western Europe and the GCC. I would also not be surprised that there are some young women who have chosen to be escorts and have international clients. Hence I put these two exploited young women groups in the sex tourism market.

Please not that I am not saying that sex tourism is 50% or more for the reason of growth. I would say it’s pretty low but significant enough to make it to the critical mass.

The 3rd reason which is a stretch, but wearing a tin foil hat, it could be that secret agents from US, Russia and Western Europe are travelling to and fro from Ukraine as the matter is not yet closed.
My comments are based as an aviation enthusiast first, then as a passenger who paid for his own ticket, after that a passenger on a business trip and finally an armchair CEO.
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1472
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:43 pm

I don't agree that it's all about stag parties and sex tourism. Ukraine has been a place in the past that was difficult to visit and not well known and now it's been discovered - people have gone there, had a good time and come back recommending the country to their friends. The fact that the currency is down and it is cheap also has an effect, as is the case with Turkey.

As far as visas are concerned the country is very open and it's also well situated for transit traffic between Europe and Asia. Also, Ukranians have just been granted visa-free access to Europe, which has a huge effect on outbound tourism. I've flown a few times on Ukraine International between London and Istanbul and I like their service, especially on the Embraer aircraft. The terminal at Kiev is modern and convenient with no long queues or hassle.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:39 pm

Ukraine is an inexpensive country to visit, and does not require a visa for citizens of the US, Canada, EU, and perhaps some other economically advanced countries. Anyone who wants to visit there should make sure he or she is fully vaccinated especially against the measles. Also the CDC recommends vaccination for both hepatitis A and B.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinatio ... ne/ukraine
 
VSMUT
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:35 pm

There is a lot of mention of tourism, but I also see another important point: Ukrainians taking up jobs in, or migrating to the EU.

From the Wikipedia page on Ukrainians in Poland:
1.2 million Ukrainian citizens worked legally in Poland in 2016. 1.7 million short-term work registrations were issued to them in 2017 (an eightfold increase compared to 2013). Ukrainian workers stay in Poland on average 3-4 months.
The number of permanent residence permits increased from 5,375 in 2010 to 33,624 (14 September 2018), while the number of temporary residence permits increased from 7,415 to 132,099 over the same time period.


There is also the sizeable Ukrainian population that lives or works in Russia, plus all those who fled during the war. As of February 2018, 1.7 million had sought refuge in Russia, many ending up taking permanent residence there. In total, there is just shy of 6 million Ukrainians in Russia of all reasons, up from 2 million in 2010. Not only have those numbers increased, but direct flights and border crossings have been shut down in the wake of the conflict. This will also help push up the passenger numbers.


As for tourism, it is the same story we see many other places. Overcrowding of traditional holiday venues because of the influx of Chinese and Indians, while terrorism and unrest has shut down resorts in Turkey and North Africa. Inevitably, prices go up and the cheaper tourists are pushed towards developing venues. The entire tourist thing could collapse from one year to the next if North Africa and Turkey stabilize.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:08 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Only two years ago in June 2017, the Schengen Area ended visas for Ukrainian citizens. By around the same time, Wizz Air and Ryanair entered the market. While 5 years ago CNN showed images of a war-torn Ukraine, Kyiv or Lviv are now some of the hottest hotspots for a city-break in Europe.


Obviously you're unfamiliar with the geography of Ukraine.

Indeed 5 years ago there was a war in Ukraine, however it was all the way in the east of the country near Donetsk and Luhansk. Those cities were heavily hit by the war, however by far most of Ukraine wasn't war-torn. Even Kharkov, pretty far east, was still west of the conflict zone and pretty much unaffected. Kiev and Lviv are much further west, far away from the conflict zone.

When MH17 was shot down at the height of the war, this happened near Donetsk. However Donetsk airport was closed and severely damaged (it was in the middle of the conflict zone), so they couldn't use that to recover the bodies. They were then loaded on a train to Kharkov from where they were flown back to the Netherlands.
 
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Pudelhund
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:19 pm

At least 20% of the growth are people flying in to see the SkyUp Shakhtar special livery. Kidding aside, is SkyUp doing well in the rapidly increasing capacity environment?
 
Sokes
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:36 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Kyiv or Lviv are now some of the hottest hotspots for a city-break in Europe. HBO's Chernobyl has only added more fuel.


SCQ83 wrote:
It has it all: dirty cheap booze and food, "friendly" locals happy to meet Western guys and it is exotic (Chernobyl, Euromaidan).

I know where to make my next holiday. After a match of paintball in the ghost city of Chernobyl I go to get boozed in the hottest hotspot.
Is Kyiv or Lviv better?
Hopefully I can also meet a "friendly" local happy to meet a Western guy like me.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:02 am

VSMUT wrote:
There is a lot of mention of tourism, but I also see another important point: Ukrainians taking up jobs in, or migrating to the EU.
.


This resonates with my experience. In the last couple of years I have travelled to Ukraine a lot from the UK on all carriers, I've actually lost count this year, but it must be six or seven times already.

Again from my experience, UIA sees a lot of transfer traffic - their flights into KBP from LGW can be up to 1/3rd full with pax connecting to TLV alone. Meanwhile WizzAir and Ryanair into LWO are 80-90% Ukrainian traffic, there are surprisingly few Brits citybreaking there... yet. The routes to Kiev typically have quite a few more Brits, and it seems they have all been to Chernobyl - in general the uptake seems to be from adventurous younger couples, no kids, or small groups of friends in their 20s. I've not seen a single stag party, yet.
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KD5MDK
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:38 am

People are flying KBP-LGW-TLV?
There's got to be more logical connecting points than that (basically everything besides HEL, right?)

Strange world.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:37 am

KD5MDK wrote:
People are flying KBP-LGW-TLV?
There's got to be more logical connecting points than that (basically everything besides HEL, right?)

Strange world.

Who said that? What was mentioned was LON-KBP-TLV. Quite logical, methinks.
 
EL-AL
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Re: Where is the limit for the Ukrainian traffic boom?

Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:43 am

If Ukraine wants tourist to actually return there they must improve their infrastructure and hospitality. After been there in 2018 (Lviv and Kiev) I took my parents this year (Kiev and Odessa) and it was terrible. My father's wallet was stolen by the AIRPORT BUS DRIVER, waiters are rude, taxi drivers rip off, public transport is like 3rd world country and service is bad just everywhere. Not to mention that hardly anyone speak English. Both me and my parents came back with "never again!" impression, which is something Ukrainians must work on.
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