Crimea lost to Antalya

Simferopol Airport began to lose passengers in favor of Turkey.
In 2017, the airport of Simferopol reduced passenger traffic by 1.4%, to 5.1 million people. Also during the year, the flow of tourists to the region decreased to 5.4 million people. The airport has already acknowledged that the demand for the Crimean direction has decreased including due to the opening of charter flights to Turkey.

Passenger traffic of Simferopol airport in 2017 fell by 1.4%, to 5.1 million people, the company said. At the end of the year, the airport's general director Yevgeny Plaksin forecasted a reduction in passenger traffic at the level of 1-1.5%. Then he noted that the fall was due to several factors - "the opening of the Turkish direction, the unstable weather in May and June at the resorts of Crimea, as well as the termination of the airline" VIM-Avia. " According to the airport, in 2017 the leader of transportation to Simferopol was the airline "Russia" (part of the Aeroflot group), which transported almost 1.1 million passengers.

According to the Turkish portal Haber Turk, in 2017 the resort of Antalya was visited by a record 3.8 million Russian tourists, exceeding the pre-crisis level of 3.4 million people in 2014.

Let's remind that the air communication with Turkey was stopped at the end of 2015 after the Turks shot down a Russian military aircraft and was resumed only in mid-2016.

However, in the past New Year holidays, passenger traffic of Simferopol airport grew by 12%, exceeding 100 thousand people. In total during this period, airlines carried out 347 flights. In addition to the New Year holidays, flights to Perm, Kazan, Nizhnevartovsk, Ufa and Surgut were opened.

The decline in passenger flow to the Crimea was reflected in tourism statistics. Last week, the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of the Crimea reported that in 2017, 5.4 million tourists had a rest in the region, which is 3.2% lower than in 2016. The head of the ministry, Vadim Volchenko, then noted the increased competition and, "unfortunately, the high cost of air travel to the Crimea", despite the fact that until 2019, the "zero" VAT rate operates for flights to Crimea.

In the summer of 2018 a new terminal will start operating at the airport of Simferopol. The government also plans to develop the Sevastopol Belbek airport, which is currently used exclusively for military purposes.