That Was Then, This Is Now: Here’s Odesa Airport’s Take On Future After Russian Invasion

Odesa International Airport has a rather remarkable presentation in which it begins by reviewing its 2021 results, and pivots to outlining what happened to it during Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Ukraine joined Europe’s single aviation market just last fall. Odesa is a region of 2.4 million people (but 3.9 million in the airport’s catchment area), with a million in the city itself – the third largest city in Ukraine and an export hub because of its coastal location.

Odesa passengers were actually up against pre-pandemic 2019. 2021 brought service from Wizz, Pegasus, Qatar, Anadolujet and Bees along with 23 new routes. As they say, “that was then, this is now.”

Here’s another farmer pulling away Russian military hardware.

And I haven’t been able to stop watching this weeks-old Downfall-worthy meme parody of a song celebrating Russian paratroopers (VDV):

As challenging as Russia’s invasion has been for the Kremlin – not the 3 day victory they expected, no welcome with open arms – they’re still doing real and substantial damage and creating a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Ukraine is ‘losing’ in the sense that Putin’s invasion, for all of the deaths it’s brought to Russian soldiers, is creating real loss for the country that’s under attack.

Odesa airport leadership laid out lessons on “sav[ing] an airport on initial stage of war” – not something most airport authorities need contingencies for. They emphasize communication with military; work to preserve terminals, runways and equipment; and IT security as well as ensuring security for flow of funds.

On behalf of 17 active airports in Ukraine and more under development, they’re asking for aid in the form of,

  • Temporary employment opportunities for airport specialists at other airports in Europe, which benefits the workers themselves and keeps them connected to aviation so the expertise is available to re-staff when things return to normal

  • Used equipment to replace war losses

  • Money

In the U.S. we handed out much more in bizarre payments to small airports for no reason and those airports weren’t invaded, didn’t have missiles target them.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, why are you repeating Ukrainian and Western propaganda that Russia expected a 3 day victory? Russia from the start of the “special operation” said it would aim to minimize civilian casualties, minimize damage to civilian infrastructure (nearly all of Ukraine has electricity), and minimize damage to civilian housing. Russia wants this intact as a lot of civilians in the east and south bordering the Black Sea are Russian speaking and Russia wants these areas habitable and happy. 3 days is what the Ukrainian defense ministry and mainstream media have put out just like they did with the ghost of Kiev, Maripoul theatre, and snake island.

    Russia has not carpet bombed or used even 1% of its artillery capability. Russia has 20,000 tanks and 75% of what is used in the Ukraine operation is old Soviet equipment it is fine getting rid of. Russia could wipe out the entire military capability of Ukraine in a day but it does not want to destroy cities.

    The real question is if Russia will want to secure Odessa so it can deny Ukraine access to the Black Sea. Russia already controls the territory along the Black Sea except Odessa. Odessa is the real strategic jewel even though Kiev is one the public thinks Russia wants.

    We’ll see what happens. If the globalist Ukrainian government agrees to Russia possessing the east and south Russia currently controls, the whole resistance was a waste of innocent Ukrainian lives. The globalist puppets should have just agreed it wouldn’t join nato and this whole thing would have been prevented even in February.

  2. @Jackson

    On behalf of all honest and good-hearted people reading this, go F yourself.

  3. This is what the US / West get for pressuring Russia since the cold war.

    We’ve broken every agreement.
    Lied about NATO advancement.
    Helped overthrow the Ukraine government in 2014.

    And we wonder why Russia strikes back.

    It’s just like covid. All the idiots just know what the corporate media tells them.
    Unreal. It’s the same exact hysteria, without context. Over and over and over again.

  4. @Jackson Waterson – this came out of Russia’s own media, though it’s since been scrubbed.

    I’m not a fan of the Ukranian government banning dissent during the invasion, but there’s no justification for this invasion.

    I have written previously in favor of a status quo peace that gives up NATO (which wasn’t going to add Ukraine anyway) and EU while allowing Ukraine to join the European Common Market and which recognizes independence for largely pro-Russian areas currently under Russian control.

  5. Honest question, why does anyone really care about Ukraine. Like, I understand the virtuous reasons like “but people are dying” , but did anyone really care this much about any other nation where people are dying due to war or civil unrest? I’ve seen hundreds of Ukraine flags hanging up on American houses, billboards, and celebrity speeches. It seems like people just seem to care because its what their religious, I mean, political leaders and their scripture, I mean Washington Post, is telling them to care about. Does anyone realize how many other brutal atrocities are happening around the world right now? The US has given billions of dollars to “help” Ukraine and who knows once this is over how much will go to “rebuild”, when we can’t even rebuild the crumbling infrastructure in our own country and there are hundreds of thousands of people living in tents or their cars every night in America?

  6. Always good to see cucks like this Don chump defending Putin…Cucker Tarlson slurpers at their finest

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