Domodedovo Sees 10% Less Passengers

MTA 10 percent drop in 2009 passenger volume won't affect plans for a new terminal, the airport's director said.
Passenger volume at Domodedovo Airport will likely fall by 10 percent in 2009, Sergei Rudakov, the airport's director, said Thursday.

The airport has already seen drops in volume of 3 percent in September, 3 percent in October and 7 percent in November, compared with the same months last year, Rudakov said.

Despite the lower numbers of passengers, the airport will begin development of a second passenger terminal in 2009 as planned, he said.

"We won't develop the airport on borrowed money, so we will go ahead with our program as planned," he said, declining to give any figures.

East Line, Domodedovo's owner, this spring announced the construction of a new 15 million-passenger terminal that will be built over the next 10 years and cost 10 billion rubles ($360 million).

The airport will consider allowing airlines to delay payment for 10 to 20 days to help them get through the winter low season, Rudakov said, adding that there is currently no outstanding debt.

In October, hundreds of people were stranded at Domodedovo when Interavia Airlines was grounded for failing to come up with overdue payments.

The airport has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Aeroexpress, the company created in April to manage express rail transportation to Moscow's three airports: Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo.

Aeroexpress plans to transport 5 million people to Domodedovo next year, accounting for one-quarter of the airport's passenger volume, CEO Vladimir Petrov said Thursday.

The company is also investing 140 million rubles ($5 million) in the construction of a new terminal for Sheremetyevo-bound trains from Belorussky Station, slated to begin operation next year.