I will defend the thesis that we need CPK “immediately”. Chopin is simply clogged, LOT will not grow at this airport, and therefore Poland’s aviation position in the world. We have no other choice. Why, in a country of less than 40 million people located in the center of a region with 180 million people – where there is no real airport hub – should this be something that is beyond us? – says Jacek Wilk, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Canadian airline Flair, former vice-president of PLL LOT, in an interview with “Wprost”.
Marcin Makowski, “Directly”: Many politicians and experts say that The Central Communication Port is a scaled project and gigantomania, the construction of which must be stopped because large airline hubs are becoming a thing of the past. What do you think about when you hear similar accusations?
Maciej Wilk: I think there are so many distortions in them that I don’t even know where to start.
Maybe from the beginning?
All right. As for the alleged fact that similar airports are no longer being built, this is not true. Not to look too far, in 2019 a huge hub was opened in Istanbul. The situation was similar to that in Warsaw – there was a very busy airport within the city, which was moved approximately 40 km from the city center to a completely new place, where there were no terrain or noise restrictions. And now they have a port there that will ultimately accommodate 90 million passengers a year. In 2023 it will be over 60 million. There are more such examples – especially in Asia, hub ports are being built on a large scale.
What about gigantomania and rescaling the project?
CPK, which in the first phase is to serve 40 million passengers – when 100% full. – would be only the twelfth airport in Europe. After all, we have huge airports operating in the West, such as London, Paris, Amsterdam… Well, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with a population of 17 million, serves over 70 million people. If someone is talking about gigantomania, let’s look at this example.
Of course, Madrid, Munich, Frankfurt are still large – all well above the basic CPK parameters. Why, in a country of less than 40 million people located in the center of a region with 180 million people – where there is no real airport hub – should this be something that is beyond us?
You mentioned our location, is it mythical? “center of Europe” actually constitutes a competitive advantage of CPK?
Of course, every airport, regardless of its location, will always require a good marketing strategy and a fight against the competition, because a passenger starting his journey at any point is never tied to a specific hub, but always analyzes all available options, choosing the most advantageous one in terms of price. , timetable and total travel time. Living in Warsaw, sometimes he will fly out of the capital by a direct flight, e.g. to the USA, other times he will choose a cheaper but longer option via Frankfurt or Helsinki. This is natural and will never change, especially when we are talking about a journey starting in a regional airport – here there are fewer direct travel options and most often you have to fly to one of the hubs and then transfer there.
Looking from the perspective of geography, I do not claim that Poland has a unique location that predisposes us to being a global hub.
There are such places in the world – for example the above-mentioned Istanbul, which can connect Europe with Asia, bypassing Russia, or airports in the Persian Gulf. However, Poland is not without its advantages.