March 30, 2017 Kharkiv International Airport (managed by a businessman Aleksandr Yaroslavskyy) took the first regular flight serviced by one of the world’s largest air carriers Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.

A press conference was held as part of the new flight’s ceremonial presentation, its participants were:

– Volodymyr Vasylchenko, Kharkiv International Airport General Director

– Ahmet Olmustur, Chief Officer (Marketing and Sales), Turkish Airlines Inc.

– Andrii Sybiha, Amdasssador to Turkey, Ukraine

– Ozgun Talu, Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ukraine

– Mark Bekker, Deputy Chaairman, Kharkiv Oblast State Administration

– Victor Rud, Director of International Cooperation, Kharkiv City Council

– Galyna Vynachyk, Head of Aviation Department of Infrastructure, Ukraine

Speaking to the guests and participants of the ceremony, Volodymyr Vasylchenko stressed that the project became possible thanks to the active assistance of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the State Aviation Service of Ukraine: “In order to launch this new flight, intergovernmental agreements had to be amended. And colleagues from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the State Aviation Service helped us a lot, for which I would like to express my sincere gratitude”. Vasylchenko has also noted that cooperation with such an authoritative participant in the air transportation market, as Turkish Airlines is, will allow the airport to substantially increase passenger traffic this year. In 2016, compared with 2015, the volume of passenger traffic at the Kharkiv International Airport has increased by 60%.

Mr. Ahmet Olmustur noted that Kharkiv became Turkish Airlines’ sixth point in Ukraine. “The route from Kharkiv has been opened for booking for only 3 months, and for these three months we have already received 8 thousand bookings. This is above our average”. Mr. Olmustur also stressed that the initial number of flights from Kharkiv (4 flights per week) will be increased to seven per week in May. In addition, he said that the airline will offer a convenient transfer system with a change in Istanbul for passengers traveling from Kharkiv to different countries of the world.

Andrii Sybiha expressed his confidence in the fact that launching of the new flight will help strengthening business and friendly contacts between Ukraine and Turkey: “Turkish and Ukrainian peoples have become one step closer, same as Kharkiv and Istanbul. This is a manifestation of this strategic partnership”. He also stressed that thanks to this project, Kharkiv can now play a more active role in the development of economic ties between the two countries.

Mr. Ozgun Talu noted that thanks to the cooperation between the Kharkiv airport and Turkish Airlines, the number of Ukrainians visiting Turkey will increase significantly. He also expressed hope that this project will help attracting Turkish investments to Ukraine. “The new flight from Kharkiv will not only improve tourism in both countries, but will also facilitate business trips”, – he stressed.

Galyna Vynachyk reminded that Kharkiv International Airport had been preparing the grounds for the realization of this project for a long time, therefore the fact that Kharkiv takes the first flight serviced by Turkish Airlines today is a real victory that became possible thanks to the coordinated work of the airport management, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the State Aviation Service. “The Ministry clearly indicated the priority of developing regional airports. And we hope that this will be the first step for such large airlines to develop regional directions”.

Victor Rud wished Turkish Airlines successful work on a new direction and stressed that this cooperation is very important, since it is impossible to develop international relations without the support of a strong air carrier. “Our beautiful metropolis Kharkiv has a very good aviation tradition. And the fact that such a high-tech, such organized, professional carrier as Turkish Airlines has joined our city to its family, says that the traditions are gradually returning”, – he noted.

Mark Bekker, in turn, added that the launch of the flight was indeed a great event for the region (oblast), it will significantly refresh the relations between Kharkiv region and Turkey. “I am deeply convinced that these flights will not only contribute to an increase in cargo and passenger transportation between Kharkiv and Turkey, as well as other countries, but will also contribute to strengthening friendly relations between Ukraine and Turkey”, – Mr. Bekker said.

On March 30, 2017, Turkish Airlines launched a regular flight on the route Istanbul-Kharkiv-Istanbul. The staring frequency of flights will be 4 per week – on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Since May 30, 2017, the number of scheduled flights will be increased to seven per week. The round-trip ticket Kharkiv-Istanbul is from $109, including taxes and fees. The company will also run a special offer for members of the Miles & Smiles loyalty program within the first six months after the launch of the flight.

For more details on the offer, for information on the flight schedule and for booking of tickets – visit the website, or call the customer service center 0800 501 207 or visit the nearest sales offices of Turkish Airlines.

Info. Kharkiv international airport was reconstructed in preparation for the finals of the European Football Championship 2012. The size of the new runway is 2500×45 m. Reconstruction of Kharkov International Airport was invested in the format of private-state partnership. The total investment in the project made by the businessman Aleksandr Yaroslavskyy was $ 107.2 million. (Air terminal complex and adjacent territory). The amount of financing for the reconstruction of the airfield complex allocated from the State Budget was $ 191.3 million.

See photos from the flight opening ceremony here.