Boryspil International Airport – the air gate of Ukraine and its visiting card

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What is going on in the Boryspil airport? Is the air gate of Ukraine ready for the football event of the year in Kyiv? Georgyi Zubko, the Deputy General Director for the commercial activity and strategic development reveals the secrets of the biggest and the most modern airport of Ukraine exclusively for FD.

Georgyi, what mood do you have right now? Do you feel Friday?

The week turned out to be pretty hard!

The sensation of days of the week has long been lost. I admit that the last six months of the dynamics of life is such that sometimes I think about today’s events, but it turns out to have been yesterday or the day before yesterday. There is a huge number of events and tasks so it seems that one day contains two and sometimes even three. But I love such a pace. This is my dynamics. The mood is great!

Tell me, please, how successful was the last year for the airport?

2017 became a record year for the Boryspil airport!

We have a lot of grounds for pride: record rates of profitability, income, deductions in favour of the state, record passenger traffic and the highest level of wages in the history of the enterprise. The increase in the number of air carriers should also be noted. Six new airlines joined the airport in 2017 for flights implementation. This increases the frequency of flights, the geography of routes is expanding.

Our desire to become a great cultural centre of the capital justifies the great work. Artistic exhibitions, dance shows, solemn celebrations of remarkable dates, carrying out of draw games and flash mobs among the passengers and guests of the airport are rapidly gaining popularity at the airport. We have no intention to slow down the pace – we have “crazy” plans for development in different directions.

Which projects do you consider most relevant in 2018?

While answering this question, it is important to remember why the last year was remarkable! A lot of work had been done, which we will complete in 2018. I would like to mention a few important projects, all of which relate primarily to airport infrastructure. The parking project is a problem that has worried our passengers and guests for many years. This year we will have modern multi-level European parking. We plan to launch it in the summer, and I am sure that it is very important as a service component for passengers, as well as a financial component for the airport. The second project is a project of the transfer gallery, where the works on expansion of the transfer zone started last year. In fact, we are building a large additional gallery, which will be first of all comfortable, cozy, filled with additional services and with services for both foreign passengers and for all who use the airport “Boryspil” as a transport hub. As for us, this is a priority within the framework of the hub model of the airport development. The new transfer gallery is more than 1500 square meters of floor space for operational and commercial activities.

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What innovations and changes are awaiting those who will visit the country’s main air gate this year?

Despite the fact that the year has just begun, we have successfully launched an electronic luggage registration; the racks for substantive registration of passengers on the flight appeared as well. In the smoking rooms, modern compact and powerful filtration stations have been installed to clean the air. Currency exchanges are already connected and available for use at the terminal. We are preparing for the implementation of the project of terminal “D” planting. In the near future a tourist information centre for guests of the country will be opened. From small to the largest ones – all these are the steps we are making, while embodying innovations. All these and other innovations will be realized in 2018, and we have no doubt that they will pleasantly surprise our passengers and guests.

At the Boryspil airport, there is a service called “Marriage in a Day.” Does it make money for the airport; is it a purely PR-campaign aimed at the airport promotion?

The task of the Boryspil airport is not to become only a transport hub, but also a great cultural and entertainment centre, and the question is not in PR, but in providing passengers with a quality place to fulfill their desires. We have not created it as PR; we call “Marriage in a Day” a kind and romantic service. It is very popular and, accordingly, also has a positive effect on the financial performance of the enterprise. Our priorities are unchanged: development of various services for passengers and increase of financial indicators of the airport.

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Do you consider Boryspil airport to be an object that is attractive to foreign investments? What can foreign investment in the airport infrastructure be?

Yes, definitely. Due to the fact that we received the highest credit trust rating, according to the IBI-Rating agency. Few companies in Ukraine, including state-owned ones, can boast about this. There are projects, which are carried out at the airport by own eff orts, but we have many strategic plans, and of course, we believe that we can and should develop the airport not only by ourselves. It is necessary to attract investments, it is necessary to build a proper private-state partnership. Of course, we are working in this direction. We are meeting foreign companies from China, Europe and the USA, with which we consider different ways of cooperation.

How is the international airport of the country preparing to meet the Champions League Final in May?

My absolute and unambiguous position: culture and sports are the processes that unite the country today. There should be a lot of such measures; they have a positive influence both on the image of the state, and on the financial component of both individual branches and city as a whole. It is also a large-scale popularization of a healthy lifestyle and a great holiday! It is wonderful that we have got the right to host the Champions League Final! We, for our part, as an airport, will not let our international partners down, and work superbly, although it is a triple load on the airport.

To understand – all the production capacity of the airport can host up to 40 thousand people per day. According to preliminary data, more than 60 thousand people will arrive on the days of the Champions League Final. I am sure that we will be ready and meet our guests in a qualitative way!

How realistic is it to turn the Boryspil airport into one of the most powerful hubs in Eastern Europe?

In the modern world, there is nothing impossible. This has been confirmed lots of times in the world. Of course, we are striving to become a hub, considering our capabilities, first of all, technical. Record showings are indicative of demand and the fact that the Boryspil airport can become a great European aviation hub. We are working on this, but it is a great tedious system work where both the state and our profile ministry of infrastructure should be involved. Everyone should understand that for the effective development of the hub model, it is necessary to invested much in the airport infrastructure. And of course, it is possible to implement a hub model only together with airlines. We believe that Ukrainian air-carriers will support us on this issue.

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How many people do the personnel of your subordinates include?

Over 4000 people work at the Boryspil airport.

There are 5 services which are directly subordinated to me. And when we talk about records and results, we first of all say that this is the achievement of a coordinated work of the entire team and each employee in particular. That is why working with the team is always a priority for me! And today, I still have the opportunity to be acquainted with everyone personally. Therefore, answering your question, I would like to talk not about the number of people, but about the quality of our working relationship and communications. Anyone can come to me; share their own problem or joy, and possibly an innovative invention or the idea of developing our business. We are striving to meet the needs. There is such a psychology of building relationship in our team.

What exactly would you call the main achievement of the Boryspil airport in 2017?

I can tell about our infrastructure victories, operational success, increase in passenger traffic, and so on. But it seems to me that the greatest achievement that allows us to run fast so quickly is the unity of our team. Under auspices of the Director General, the staff of skilled professional people was created. We are strong, united and competent to implement the set tasks. And among all our achievements, it is hard to choose one thing, thanks to the general aspiration to move forward and upward. We are on takeoff (smiling). We have achieved high results; our task is to keep them and to systematically multiply!