Market overview

About Belarus

Belarus is situated in the eastern part of Europe. The country occupies 207.6 thousand km. The country extends from west to east for 650 kilometers, and from north to south – for 560 kilometers. On the west the country borders on Poland, on the south–west it borders on Lithuania, on the east – with Russian, and on the south – with the Ukraine.

Belarus is divided into 6 regions, 118 districts, and comprises more than 100 cities, 111 towns and more than 24 thousand villages.

The capital of Belarus is Minsk, with a population of about 2 million people.  

The distance from Minsk to the capital of the neighboring states in kilometers: Vilnius – 185, Riga – 470, Warsaw – 550, Kiev – 580, Moscow – 700, Berlin – 1060.

The official languages are Belarusian and Russian, the currency is Belarusian rubles. The official exchange rates as of 01.01.2010 – 1 EUR – 4 120 BYR, 1 USD – 2 860 BYR.

Belarusian climate is moderately continental: a mild winter with long–lasting thaws, a moderately warm summer.

The population of Belarus is about 10 million people.

Useful links
www.belarus.by

 

Airports



 

The most active Belarusian airport is Minsk National Airport. It is located 40 kilometers away from the capital. Besides, six more international airports operate in Belarus. These are Minsk–1 Airport, located in the very center of the city, and airports of the five regional centers – Grodno, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Brest and Gomel. Though all the airports are in good operational condition, currently regular flights are performed only from Minsk and Gomel. Atlant Soyuz Airlines is currently flying 3 times a week fron Moscow Vnukovo to Brest and Grodno.

In 2008 the country’s main gate – Minsk National Airport provided services to 1,010,695 passengers and ranked 512 in the world rating. In 2008 the volume of transportations increased almost by 22%. In 2008 passenger traffic increased due to a launch of new flights and an increase in the frequency of flights on the existing routes. To be more precise, in 2008 the following regular flights were launched – Tallinn–Minsk operated by Estonian Air, and Abu Dhabi – Minsk operated by Etihad Airways.

The figures of 2009 show the same number of passengers than in 2008. Even if local traffic slightly decreased due to the economic crisis, Belavia managed to improve transit flows via Minsk especially in the end of the year. May be the worse period remains behind us and passenger traffic will restart to grow in 2010?

Useful links
www.airport.by

Belarusian airlines

The leader of Belarusian civil aviation is Belavia Airlines (B2), based in Minsk Airport. Having a fleet of 15 aircrafts, Belavia performs short and medium distance regular and charter flights. Belavia’s passenger aircraft fleet comprises aircrafts manufactured by western and Russian companies: seven Boeings 737 series 300 and 500, three CRJ–100/200 aircrafts, four Tu–154M, most probably two CRJ–700 will join the fleet. www.belavia.by
In Gomel, Gomelavia (YD) is based with its three An–24 aircrafts, a couple of freight aircrafts Il–76. Flights from Gomel are mainly transit flights through Minsk or other regional centers to Kaliningrad (Russia). www.gomelavia.com

Cargo Airlines www.genex.by, www.transaviaexport.com, www.rubystar.by
 

Airlines that perform flight to Belarus

All in all, 15 foreign airlines perform regular flights to Belarus in 2009. Among them there are Lufhansa (LH), LOT Polish Airlines (LO), Czech Airlines (OK),  Austrian Airlines (OS), Air Baltic (BT), Georgian Airways (A9), Turkish Airlines (TK), Estonian Air (OV), Etihad Airways (EY),  Turkmenistan Airlines (T5), Atlant Soyuz (7B).

Regular flights to Minsk, as scheduled for summer 2010

Destination Number of flights per week Operating carrier Code shared With Equipment
Moscow SVO 21 B2 SU 737/CRJ
Moscow DME 14 B2 S7, UN 737/CRJ
Moscow VKO* 20 7B, B2   EMB / CRJ
Vienna 14 OS B2 100
Kaliningrad 14 B2,YD KD 737/AN4
Frankfurt 11 LH,B2   737
Prague 8 OK,B2 OK,B2 320/737
Istambul 7 TK,B2   737
Riga 10 BT,B2 B2,BT F50 / CRJ
Tbilisi 7 B2,A9   737
Warsaw 8 LO,B2 LO,B2 E75/CRJ
Tel Aviv 6 B2 LY 737
Kiev 6 B2 VV CRJ
Gomel 5 YD   AN4
Sochi 4 B2   CRJ
St. Peterburg 4 B2 SU CRJ
Berlin SXF 4 B2   CRJ
Abu Dhabi 3 EY   319
Paris 4 B2   737
Milan MXP 4 B2   737
Rome 4 B2   737
London LGW 3 B2   737
Tallinn 3 OV B2 SF3
Larnaka 2 B2   737
Baku 2 B2   737
Erevan 2 B2   737
Hannover 3 B2   737
Pavlodar 3 B2   737
Kostanai 2 B2   737
Astana 2 B2   737
Manchester 1 B2   737
Ashgabat T5   737 
Total 203      

 * including 3 frequencies from Grodno and Brest respectively

Belavia Airlines provides services to 63% of passengers in Minsk Airport.

In 2010 50% of planned flights are international and other half to the CIS states.

 

Customers

The passenger traffic at the country’s main airport is constantly increasing. In 2008, its passenger traffic increased by 22%. Such positive dynamics has been observed already for five years. Though in 2009 the usual 20% increase slowed down, but no passenger traffic reduction has been observed.

Due to the specific nature of its organization, flight schedule of the national air carrier and absence of a network of domestic flights, Minsk Airport is the destination point of passengers and is seldom used as a transit airport. In this connection, passenger traffic of airlines operating in Belarus first of all depends on the financial position of Belarusian people.  

Though the well–being of Belarusian people has considerably increased, airlines shall not be too optimistic about the great number of expensive new cars. It is cars that are the main competitors of aviation in Belarus. People in Belarus like cars, for distances here are not large and roads are maintained in good condition. Most travelers got used to traveling to the neighbouring countries by their own cars or by train or even by bus. Many passengers take advantage of Belarus’ geographical nearness to Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and the Ukraine and depart from larger airports of Moscow, Vilnius, Warsaw or Kiev. Very low prices of many EU air carriers operating in Vilnius and Warsaw is one more reasons for the drain of passengers from Belarus.

Currently, Belarusian market of passenger transportations has a clear seasonal character. Its peculiarity is a large number of charter flights in summer. The main tourist routes enjoying popularity among Belarusian tourists include Turkey, Egypt, Croatia, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Greece and Montenegro.

People traveling by regular flights are mostly relatives of those living abroad. The core of the business passenger traffic is concentrated on Minsk–Moscow line. In this direction flights are performed up to six flights a day.

The operation of other regular lines also has a clear seasonal character.

In addition to tourists, groups of children traveling to Western Europe for rest and recreation are undoubtedly of interest for the international air carriers operating in Belarus. These transportations are not seasonal and are performed all year round.

Except for Belarusian people, foreign passengers also use services of the airlines operating in Belarus. This includes common travelers, businessmen and the so–called “event tourists”. Thanks to the efforts exercised by the Belarusian government, in recent years event tourism has been developing rather rapidly in Belarus. It mainly concerns popular sporting events that attract fans from different corners of the world to Belarus. For example, in 2008 – 2009 Belarus plaid host to a test match for the Football World Championship, Champions League matches and World Trap Shooting Championship. Besides, it is already known that in 2014 Minsk will play host to a major sporting event – Ice Hockey World Championship. More than 30 thousand fans from different countries of the world are expected to come to watch this event.

Exhibitions and sporting events schedule 2010 – 2011

Despite moderate passenger traffic, Belarus, as a country, and Minsk, as its capital, clearly demonstrate a potential for growth and a considerable capacity. Belarusian people will buy tickets both for flights from Minsk and from other airports, if this is convenient and advantageous for them.