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16 April 2021, 09:28

Cherginets: Belavia held out against pandemic without bailout

Igor Cherginets. Photo courtesy of OnAir Belavia
Igor Cherginets. Photo courtesy of OnAir Belavia

MINSK, 16 April (BelTA) – The Belavia national air carrier has managed to withstand the pandemic without a penny from the government, Belavia Director General Igor Cherginets told the ONT TV channel, BelTA informs.

“This is a very challenging period for us. We are still going through it, though now it is easier. A large number of companies – big names in the industry - have ceased to exist or are on their knees and ask their governments for money. We discussed it, but we did not receive a penny,” Igor Cherginets said.

At the same time, he noted that the government supported the airline in other ways: it negotiated flights with governments of other countries and aviation authorities.

For example, before the pandemic, Belavia operated up to 150 flights to Russia every week, including 11 flights a day to Moscow alone (Russian airlines flew from Moscow to Minsk nine times a day). Today Belavia operates 9 flights to Russia a week. “Disaster. Catastrophe. Considering our political, business, economic, family ties, it is just impossible to comprehend. Very difficult. People ask for tickets, flights,” he said.

According to him, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the situation was most critical in April 2020. Back then the passenger traffic was 7.8% as against April 2019. By now passenger traffic has recovered to 60-65%.

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