Last year was a challenge for Kharkiv Airport — a challenge we accepted and managed to endure.

A look back

Having set a record in 2019, figures kept climbing steadily in early 2020.

  • The January – February passenger traffic was at 215,000, 56% up year-on-year from 138,000
  • Over the two months, the number of departures reached 835, 32% up from 647 over the same period in 2019

However, from mid-March and until mid-June the airport had to suspend all passenger flights because of the pandemic. The last pre-quarantine flight departed on March 21.

Only on June 15 we handled the first passenger flight after a two-month pause and continued Kyiv–Kharkiv–Kyiv flights daily since then. On June 19, transportation on international routes was resumed as first flights from Minsk and Budapest arrived. From then on, scheduled and charter flights were gradually restored, and new routes added. We revved up the passenger traffic, meanwhile keeping close tabs on their compliance with sanitary regulations. Regular disinfection of premises was initiated, markings were applied to ensure the adherence to social distancing requirements, and all staff was provided with personal protective equipment.

2020 in stats

Within 2020 Kharkiv Airport handled 659,300 passengers, which accounts for 49% of the previous year’s 1.34 million.

The number of departures reached 3,451 that year (62% of 2019’s 5,590 departures).

Antalya, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Kyiv, and Kraków were the year’s most popular destinations.

In 2019, the airport saw the highest passenger traffic in its newest history, but, sadly, we could not sustain this dynamic. However, the 2020 results still exceeded those of many pre-pandemic years: e.g., in 2016, 598,000 people used Kharkiv Airport services, and in 2012 — the year Ukraine hosted the UEFA European Football Championship — there were only 501,000 of them, 100,000 fewer than in 2020.

Passenger traffic in 2020 (‘000 pax)
20192020The change
International1 108,8571,6-48%
Domestic232,187,7-62%
Total1 340,8659,3-51%
The number of departures during 2020 year
20192020The change
International3 8772 053-47%
Domestic1 7131 398-18%
Total5 5903 451-38%

New routes, open and planned

Last year, Ukraine’s Windrose airline opened its first regular flights from Kharkiv, starting to carry people to Kyiv on a daily basis. The year 2020 also saw the opening of new international routes: Wizz Air launched flights to Budapest, Tallinn, and Berlin; Ryanair—to Budapest and Milan; and UAI—charter flights to Kayseri.

Flights to the following cities have already been announced for 2021:

  • Venice (Venice-Treviso Airport) from Wizz Air on Tuesdays and Saturdays starting 30 March
  • Milan (Milan-Malpensa Airport) from Wizz Air on Mondays and Fridays starting 29 March
  • Bratislava from SkyUp Airlines on Thursdays and Sundays starting 29 April
  • Rhodes from Sky Up Airlines on Saturdays starting 1 May, Friday flights to be added 28 May.

Tickets for these flights are already available on the airport’s website, ticket desks, and hotline at 0800303803 as well as on the carriers’ websites.

Keeping our distance, we become closer

In 2020, we worked on improving access to Kharkiv Airport’s services despite the quarantine.

In February, a new air ticket office was opened in the city’s downtown — it is in the Kharkiv Palace hotel’s ground-floor boutique gallery.

We now offer tours from Kharkiv to any part of the world, a new service in our offering.

In December, we decided to introduce the airport team to passengers. As a part of our Passion to Fly video project, we are publishing on our social media the videos of our staff talking about themselves and their work. We are also planning to expand it with Q&A videos, in which our team will answer your most interesting questions.

However, our most significant achievement of 2020 was keeping the entirety of the airport team. We thank our colleagues from the bottom of our hearts. Together with them, we will continue to improve our services and make our airport even more exciting than other Ukrainian or even global aiport hubs.

In 2020, the airport managed to retain all staff, quickly renew existing flights, and introduce new international routes for 2021.