Ukraine's largest airport, Kyiv's Boryspil International, is prepared to resume flights within one month after the end of the war, the airport's director general Oleksiy Dubrevskyy said in an interview with Politico on Oct. 18.
"We're doing all the necessary activities to get flights as soon as possible," Dubrevskyy said. "We’re ready to start operations at short notice."
Boryspil has kept paying its staff two-thirds of their pre-war salary and keeps them working "to make sure that all certifications are up-to-date," after learning from the Covid-19 pandemic that rehiring employees at short notice is a challenge.
Dubrevskyy said he expects a post-war boom in flights to Ukraine, due to pent-up demand for tourism, cargo flights for reconstruction, and "a new market niche" of friends and relatives visiting each other from abroad.
With 8 million Ukrainians living abroad, the post-war air travel situation will resemble "Poland in 2004 when it joined the EU," with people traveling back and forth between Ukraine and Europe much more frequently, the leadership of Boryspil believes.
Their prognosis matches that of Ryanair, one of Europe's largest low cost airlines. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary came to Boryspil in July and announced plans to return to the Ukrainian market within eight weeks of the country's air space reopening.
"Ukraine is a country of 40 million people, many of whom have been dispersed across Europe over the past year. We look forward to being able to reunite these families," O'Leary said.
However, while Boryspil managed to repair the damage resulting from the Russian invasion, some airports will have to be rebuilt "from scratch," Dubrevskyy said.
These include Kherson, Mariupol, and Dnipro airports. Only Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa airports are in good condition, according to Dubrevskyy.
Ukrainian airspace has been closed to civilian aircraft since the full-scale invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022. Ukraine's state-run air traffic enterprise, Ukraerorukh, has stated that it will reopen after the war ends.