Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport was announced as the overall winner of the final regional heat of this year’s Routes Awards last night at a spectacular networking evening which took place in the grounds of the Donbass Arena, Donetsk hosted by International Airport Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev. Almost 300 aviation professionals were gathered to witness the presentation of the awards and to take part in the 3rd Routes CIS – the only route development event for the entire CIS region.
The Russian airport, host of last year’s Routes CIS forum, was recognised for its strong passenger growth in 2012 and a submission that clearly illustrated how they worked closely with their partner carriers on the introduction of new services. During the last calendar year the airport attracted a plethora of operators including Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, Ukraine International Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Orenburg Airlines and lesser known carrier such as Air Bishkek, East Air, Severstal and Kogalymavia.
“Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport has delivered true route development results over the past year,” said Nigel Mayes, VP Commercial – Routes, UBM Live, during his awards presentation. “The airport achieved a passenger growth of 13 per cent in 2012 and the judges felt that with their working relationship with all of their partners that they were worthy as overall winner from the CIS region.”
The award was collected by Andrey Klimenko, Deputy Commercial Director of Koltsovo Airport’s parent group, Airports of Regions, and Ilona Fominykh, Head of Marketing at the company. “This is just awesome,” said a clearly delighted but shocked Fominykh after discovering the results. “I can’t put into words just how excited I feel that we have been recognised for this prestigious award. It was quite a surprise for us, but a great one.”
“I would like to thank all the airlines that voted for us. This is a clear sign of appreciation for the efforts our whole team has put into our airline relations and air service development and shows that what we are trying to achieve at Ekaterinburg and now also at the other airports under the Airports of Regions banner, is a successful formula,” she added.
The Routes Awards recognise and reward the highest standards of marketing activities undertaken by airports and tourism authorities. The 2013 awards have seen a number of innovations including taking a blended approach to the nomination process, meaning the final nominees combined those who were shortlisted by airlines using Routes’ online voting form together with a number of airports who were selected by a panel of industry experts drawn from the airline network planning community. This year the awards were split into two categories based on the size of the airport.
Alongside the overall award, Ekaterinburg were also named as the winner from the ‘Under 4 Million Passengers’ category with Pulkovo Saint Petersburg Airport ranked top from the ‘Over 4 Million Passengers category’. Tbilisi International Airport and Kyiv - Boryspil International Airport were also highly commended by the panel of airline judges who studied this year’s entries. These included Tony Whitby, Director of Planning, Air Arabia; Ignacio Bosch, Network Planning Analyst, Vueling and Angelika Perepelova, Deputy Head of Network Development, Rossiya Airlines.
The full shortlist of companies in each award category is listed below:
Over 4 Million Passengers
• Pulkovo Saint Petersburg Airport - Winner
• Kyiv - Boryspil International Airport - Highly Commended
• Sheremetyevo International Airport
• Domodedovo International Airport
• Vnukovo International Airport
Under 4 Million Passengers
• Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport - Winner & Overall Winner
• Tbilisi International Airport - Highly Commended
• Almaty International Airport
• Astana International Airport
• Karagandy International Airport
As overall winner of this regional heat, Ekaterinburg will be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Airport Marketing Awards which will take place at the event in Las Vegas, 5-8 October 2013. Ekaterinburg join San Diego International Airport, Changi Airport Group, Munich Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport who were announced as overall winners of the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa heats respectively, earlier in the year.