ASTANA – Kazakh airline Air Astana was named the most dynamically developing carrier of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at the Pulkovo Saint Petersburg Airport in its LED Together competition.
The sixth annual ceremony LED Together brought together representatives of airlines, tourism and cultural industries of Saint Petersburg and North-West Russia.
Pulkovo is the fourth largest airport in Russia by the number of passengers served. It is located 23 kilometres from the Palace Square in the centre of St. Petersburg. LED is the code that was assigned to the airport when the city was called Leningrad. This code was used throughout the Soviet era and is still used today.
In December last year, Air Astana for the first time won Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport award for Best Foreign Airline by passenger choice as voted by followers of the airport’s social media networks.
The Pulkovo Airport opened June 24, 1932 as a state-owned domestic airport. In 2013, some 12.8 million passengers, a 15.6 percent increase from 2012, travelled through the Pulkovo airport, making it the third busiest airport in Russia and the post-Soviet states. Pulkovo had a passenger traffic rate of 9.8 million as of Sept. 1, 2014. The airport holds the title of being one of the largest airports in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Construction of the airport’s latest Terminal 1, which began in 2010, had been delayed several times. In November 2013, the airport was tested for errors by more than 5,200 residents of Saint Petersburg who partook in the process. Several days after the testing, the new Terminal 1 opened on Dec. 3, 2013. On Feb. 14, 2014, all operations were consolidated into the new terminal as the old Pulkovo 1 and Pulkovo 2 terminals were shut down. The new terminal contains several business lounges, restaurants, including chains such as Starbucks, Burger King and McDonalds, pharmacies and an Irish pub.
Terminal 1 is 147,000 square metres and has 400,000 square metres of airport dock in front of it. The airport has 88 check-in counters, 110 passport booths, seven baggage carousels, 110 parking spots, 17 gates and 17 escalators. The interior of the new airport was designed by Grimshaw Architects and directly correlates with the designs and style of Saint Petersburg. The new terminal also sought many artistic sculptures and paintings to give a sense of thriving culture to passengers. Four sculptures from Dmitry Shorin’s project named “I Believe in Angels” decorate the departure hall.