On February 16th, 2014 I had a night flight from Kiev to Sochi with "Ukraine International Airlines", which is the biggest Ukraine air carrier.
It would have been an ordinary flight if it hadn’t been for the big events that took place during those days. Protests in Kiev and Olympic Games in Sochi are extraordinary events that’s why I’ll take the liberty to include some photos in my review which illustrate the atmosphere in these two cities
1. Protests in Kyiv
I was lucky to visit Kyiv a day before they started shooting. Below there are some illustrations of what I saw. I’d ask not to give any assessments or opinions about political situation in the Ukraine in your comments to my review. You can do this on other sites.
Barricade on Kreshchatik (the central street in Kyiv):
The Monument that has been “improved” by the protestors on Kyiv's Independence Square (the central square in Kyiv):
Burnt entrance to the stadium “Dinamo” – the evidence of January battles:
On Grushevskiy street:
2. Borispol Airport, Terminal D
I must say that the events in the center of the city didn’t influence the activity of Borispol airport, the main airport of the Ukraine capital.
The company "Ukraine International Airlines" operates its flights from new Terminal D which was built for the 2012 European football championship.
The approaches to Terminal D are divided into two levels. The lower one is for arriving passengers and the upper level (along the car overpass) is for departing ones.
The approach to the entrance for departing passengers:
The car park near the Terminal:
In arrival area (the ground floor):
You can take one of these escalators to go up to the departure zone.
Terminal D is a box made of glass and metal. Everything is beautiful and modern inside. You can find a lot of similar buildings in Europe.
This is how the ceiling looks like. Its construction provides for the natural light through the windows.
Our flight number PS-595 was scheduled for February 16th at 23:15. It seemed to me it was the last flight before the night’s calm. Our flight check-in counter:
Surprisingly, all the customs control points were already closed. With difficulty I found one at the side where I finally managed to go through the customs.
After going through all possible types of control you find yourself in a long gallery with waiting rooms and departure gates.
Though there are lots of boarding bridges available, for some reason we board the plane the old way (the bus, the street ...).
Our plane. New Boeing-737-800 board number UR-PSE:
Other similar Boeings of “Ukraine International Airlines” are standing in line next to our plane.
Terminal D view from the apron. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a good photo.
3. Ukraine International Airlines Boeing-737-800
Obviously, the plane has become the property of the company most recently. The interior is done in the newest Sky Interior style.
There are 8 business class chairs in the cabin.
Then the economy class follows. All seats are in dark-blue leather.
Each passenger is allowed some literature – a board magazine “Panorama”, a duty free catalogue, safety instructions and for those who are bored a sick bag.
The flight from Kyiv to Sochi lasts only two hours. Hungry passengers can have a sandwich with coffee and soft drinks.
Actually, that’s where the service on board ends. I didn’t find any audio or video entertainment. I must say that the flight attendants were very strict about taking photos in the cabin. According to the air company’s rules, taking photos or videos on board is forbidden.
4. Olympic Sochi
We landed in Sochi at three in the morning (taking into account time lag). The airport met us with the Olympic rings.
Exit from the terminal:
And in the end some moments from the Olympic Games. I have very good memories of the atmosphere.
Olympic Torch and the stage where awarding of the winners took place:
The big ice palace – arena for the main hockey matches:
“Olympic park” station and bus stops for the Olympic transport:
The TV companies from all over the world are at work:
The square on the skiing resort Rosa Khutor:
“Fresh” downhill skiing champions in front of the cameras: