Lviv IT Cluster Aims to Destroy Air Barriers

12 Dec, 2016 1

According to IT Research, Lviv IT companies work the most with clients from the USA – 50%. 35% of clients come from European countries, 8% – from Canada, 5% – the Middle East and only 2% of clients are from Ukraine. The number of business trips conducted by representatives of Lviv IT companies is measured in thousands and in the upcoming years will double or even triple. Under these conditions, air travel is essential for normal development and functioning of the business. However, traveling from Lviv can often become a real challenge and last the whole day.

To solve this problem, Lviv IT Cluster is launching IT Jet. The aim of the project – to increase the number of flights between Lviv and cities abroad. The first step in this study was to learn how much Lviv IT specialists go on business trips. How often and where exactly they fly for business – read in the results of Lviv IT Cluster’s survey.
As for today, Lviv has direct flights to a very limited number of cities abroad. According to the information provided by Lviv International Airport, its route network consists of 30 international destinations: few cities in Europe (Vienna, Munich, Warsaw, Radom, Minsk, Bologna, Rome, Madrid, Vilnius) as well as Istanbul, Hurghada (Egypt), Sharm El Sheikh, Baku, Tel Aviv, Antalya. However, there are no flights from Lviv to the USA and many big European cities. To get to Lviv, you will most likely fly via Kyiv.
Nevertheless, IT employees working in Lviv need thousands of direct flights abroad every year. In total, 6 021 flights have been made by employees of Lviv IT companies in 2015. This data does not include tourist trips or traveling for recreation purposes.

The most popular destinations for business trips are North and South America (3161 or 52,6% from total number of flights), Northern Europe (1 106 or 18, 2%), Western and Southwestern Europe (555 or 9,4%), Middle East (323 or 5,4%), Southern and Southeastern Europe (177 or 2,9%) and Asia (145 or 2,3%).
If we talk about countries the most popular for business trips, these are: USA – 3 101 flights, UK – 773, Germany – 420, Poland – 307, Israel – 290, Sweden – 148, Russia -148, Bulgaria – 120 and India – 108.

Lviv IT employees fly the most frequently to such cities as: New York (1 483 flights), London (600), San Francisco (375), Berlin (277), Tel Aviv (241), Krakow (164), Sofia (100), Moscow (98), Stockholm (94), Copenhagen (67) and Mumbai (66).

According to Lviv IT Cluster Supervisory Board Chairman and ideological mentor of the project Andrew Pavliv, this situation negatively affects the development of IT business.

“98% of Lviv IT companies clients live abroad. Working with foreign clients requires appropriate conditions. One IT employee flies abroad to visit a business partner at least once per year. However, in Ukraine, a simple business trip can take up the whole day. Even though Lviv has a developed infrastructure and a good airport, the city has a very limited flight network. That is why Lviv IT Cluster has decided to work on the expansion of flights in Lviv” – says Andrew Pavliv.
According to Lviv IT Cluster CEO Stepan Veselovskyi, IT Jet aims at increasing the number of direct flights from Lviv to different cities worldwide.

“The small number of flights definitely negatively affects Lviv IT, since it decreases mobility. And the problem here is not the ticket price (even though, it is also important), but the amount of time, the flight takes. If a person can fly from Lviv to London and still have a free half of a day for work there, this will be a win. Currently, this takes the whole day. Our ultimate goal – is comfort. To make traveling to the key markets shorter. We have started with a research which aims to show what is the percentage of flights by company representatives and their clients in the total air travel structure. This is needed in order to show airline companies our market which is already large enough as well as prospects for its growth” – he says.

The name of the project comes from the English word “jet” – which makes up the main goal of the project – to make every trip as fast as a jet.

To make this happen, Lviv IT Cluster has started the IT Jet project. The first stage of the project has been completed – the research of flights connected with IT. According to IT Research (done by Lviv IT Cluster earlier), the expected growth of IT industry is 20% per year. According to the PwC research, the number of work places in Ukrainian IT will double by 2020. In particular, the industry increased its turnover from 96 million to 300 million US dollars, which shows its dynamic growth. Based on this data, and on the research of flights, it can be predicted that in upcoming years the number of flights will increase twice.

These studies will be the basis for future negotiations with airline companies since they will see the need for future expansion. New York and London – are priority cities since Lviv IT-specialists fly there the most frequently. There should be flights to these destinations at least twice per week.

According to Andrew Pavliv, such negotiations can last more than a year, but he already sees interest on behalf of the airlines. Especially now, since Lviv applied for holding two largest air carrier conferences Routes and Connect. According to Deputy Mayor Andriy Moskalenko, a large percentage of those who come to these conferences, then make deals on flights.

“The airport is owned by the state, therefore we can cooperate with it. For example, passenger traffic has increased by 30-40% compared to last year. A number of new flights have been opened, and we are in the process of negotiations aimed to attract lowcost airlines with maximum bonuses on behalf of the airport and the city, open new destinations which will help to develop business, IT in particular. Business doesn’t have any specific boundaries and requires a lot of traveling” – says Andriy Moskalenko.

Lviv International Airport supported IT Jet Project. Its director, Tetiana Romanovska stated:
“IT Jet is a promising project which will promote the expansion of flights. Lviv International Airport is interested in expanding the geography of flights, as well as, is ready to provide information support and cooperate with organizers”.
The best way to preserve and improve the dynamics of IT development – to ensure high-quality infrastructure in the city.

More details about the IT JET find on the project’s page.