13 JUNE 2016
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Moscow will have a fourth international airport from next month.
Zhukovsky (ZIA) was inaugurated by prime minister Dmitry Medvedev last week, part of a £100m plan to redevelop a former military airfield 40km south-east of Moscow. The timing was not very good. More than 20 airlines quit the Russian market in 2015 and traffic at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, previously the capital's largest air hub, fell by 3m to 30.5m.
Zhukovsky will have to compete with Domodedovo (resident are BA and easyJet among others) as well as Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports, whose 2015 passenger numbers were 31.3m and 15.8m respectively.
It was conceived at a time when the Russian capital's three biggest airports were operating regularly at maximum capacity and was meant to tap rising airline traffic, then growing at 10% per year.
But a steep economic downturn caused by lower oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine has hit the aviation market hard.
While its rivals are served by dedicated rail services from central Moscow, the new terminal is accessible only by roads frequently choked with traffic jams. That has cost it potentially-lucrative new customers such as low-cost airline Pobeda, operated by state flag carrier Aeroflot.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Andrew Sharp, United Kingdom
There are supposed to be shuttle buses from nearby stations - Kotelniki metro station (where, reputedly, you will be able to check in for your flight) and Otdyh commuter rail station. The airport is also on the planned orbital tram system serving Domodedovo Airport.