The International Airport at Bratislava, Slovak Republic has had a historic moment in the last month. This moment is has been historic because a brand new terminal has been opened up. The previously used one has been built in 1970 and could not handle the growing passenger volume that has been generated by the largest active airline flying to the airport, Ryanair.
In 2004 a first version of the project arose and is becoming reality today, albeit in a significantly modified version. During this year the airport handled almost 900,000 passengers, the presumed volume was set at 1.5 million.
However we must remember that during this time SkyEurope which ceased operations, was the largest competitor of Ryanair, meaning the airport handled its peak of flight movements per day, now the situation is drastically different.
The new terminal a win or huge mistake?
The question that remains is that if this new terminal was a good idea or a reconstruction of the old one would have been a more wise decision.
We have to take into account 2 factors, the first one being the geographic closeness of Vienna International Airport which is more attractive to large foreign airlines and airline associations like Star Alliance.
This airport ironically also has a new terminal, however the building process has been stopped due to expenses running over the budget in a large scale manner.
The second factor we have to think about is that Slovakia has no real airline at current, Air Slovakia has announced financial problems and as a result it lost its international air traffic carrier licence and as a addition the Slovak government called for a judicial process against the airline, a possible reason behind the bankrupcy could be the dubious business deal with Albanian International Airlines last october.
Bratislava International new terminal with entrance and road
Is there hope?
Yes and No, to be honest the only hope that is left for the airport is Ryanair, however this is just optically good, since Ryanair demanded Bratislava Airport to sink its fees by 70%! This is very bad for a airport that is in governmental control like LZIB is at current. On the other hand having a carrier at least active is good for the passengers who do not have to travel to Vienna for a change.
Another good sign is that the high summer season is about to start and charter airlines like Travel Service from the Czech Republic are going to be interested in the Slovak holiday travelers, this larger passenger volume can test the true qualities of the new terminal.
This article was written and submitted by resident aviation news editor Roland Ondrus.
Aerial image of the new terminal at Bratislava International Airport
Aircraft landing and ILS beacons at Bratislava International Airport