Simferopol International Airport in Crimea will open a new terminal April 16, which will be able to handle 3,650 passengers per hour or 6.5 million per year. It is equipped with 55 check-in counters, eight jet bridges and eight standard gates. It is also equipped with 16 moving staircases and 28 elevators to create a barrier-free environment.

On April 11, the airport carried out a main terminal test, which used 400 volunteers, students, bloggers, media representatives to play the role of passengers to simulate standard ground operations. According to the airport’s general director Yevgeniy Plaksin, terminal tests began in March, but this week the number of volunteers was close to the real number of passengers that will be handled by the airport. Plaksin is confident the terminal is ready for all operations.

In 2017, Simferopol airport handled 5.1 million passengers, down 2% year-over-year (YOY). During the first three months of 2018, traffic grew 7% YOY to 603,378 passengers.

Because Crimea is a resort destination with a high seasonality factor, the Russian government offers a subsidy program for flights between the peninsula and Russian regions.

Moscow Sheremetyevo-based Nordwind Airlines plans to boost Crimea service this summer and will fly 27 destinations from Simferopol.

Polina Montag-Girmes montag.girmes@gmail.com