Kaliningrad airport to implement “Open skies”
Khrabrovo Airport (Kaliningrad) General Director Viktor Titarev has announced the facility is seeking to become Russia’s second airport with free access to foreign carriers (under a so called “open skies” policy). Currently, foreign carriers must obtain special permission to fly scheduled routes to Russian airports.
“We see several directions for Khrabrovo’s development. [They include] opening new flights to Russia and the E.U., and implementing the ‘open skies’ policy like in Vladivostok,” he said. According to Titarev, several international carriers are considering Khrabrovo as a transit hub for flights between Europe and China.
The airport is currently undergoing a $100 million makeover under a concept developed by Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V. which seeks to increase traffic from the current 1.2 million to 5 million annually. Nearby Riga airport already enjoys traffic of 4.7 million passengers annually. Avia.ru Editor-in-chief Roman Gusarov said that Khrabrovo’s beneficial geographic location would allow it to successfully compete with Scandinavian airports.
Under WTO rules, all Russian airports will implement a similar “open skies” policy within two years.
First published in Russian in Vedomosti.