Ryanair Announces $3 Billion Ukraine Growth Plan

A Ryanair Boeing 737 passes overhead.
Photo Credit: Lewis Chesworth/AviationSource

This week Ryanair has announced a $3 billion post-war growth and investment plan for its Ukrainian operations.

This article will cover the details surrounding Ryanair’s Ukraine plans for when the war comes to an end.

Ryanair’s Post-War Ukraine Plans

A Ryanair Boeing 737 with new Scimitar winglets.
Photo Credit: Ryanair

On July 20, Ryanair’s senior management team held an important meeting in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, alongside Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, whereby Ryanair unveiled its heavy investment plans for Ukraine.

Once the war has ended and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) declares that it is safe to fly in and out of Ukraine again, the plan will come into effect.

Within just eight weeks of Ukraine’s air space reopening, Ryanair will operate 600 weekly services across the three main cities, Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa connecting them to 20 EU capitals. Not only this but Ryanair also plans to operate domestic services between those three Ukrainian cities as soon as the airports are capable of handling them.

Looking forward, within the first 12 months following the war, Ryanair aims to offer 5 million seats to and from Ukraine and plans to increase this to 10 million seats over a five-year period.

All of this will be implemented with Ryanair planning to base 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in Ukraine.

Executive Comments

In the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Ryanair Group Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Leary, has said, “Ryanair was Ukraine’s 2nd largest airline before the unlawful Russian invasion in Feb 2022. Once the skies over Ukraine have reopened for commercial aviation, Ryanair will charge back into Ukraine linking the main Ukraine airports with over 20 EU capitals, and we are working closely with the Ukrainian Govt to rebuild Ukraine’s aviation, industry and its economy.”

“The fastest way to rebuild and restore the Ukrainian economy will be with low-fare air travel. Ryanair intends to invest heavily in Ukraine and lead this aviation recovery by investing up to $3 billion and basing up to 30 new Boeing MAX aircraft at Ukraine’s 3 main airports in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. Having previously also served Kharkiv and Kherson airports prior to the invasion, Ryanair will return to serving those airports too, as soon as the infrastructure has been restored.”

“Ryanair remains committed to rebuilding and investing in Ukraine. We currently employ hundreds of Ukrainian pilots, cabin crew and IT professionals, and we will look to create thousands of new jobs in aviation for Ukrainian citizens when Ukraine skies reopen.”

“Ukraine is a country of 40 million people, many of whom have been dispersed across Europe over the past year. We look forward to being able to reunite these families using Ryanair low-fare services to the main Ukrainian airports as soon as it is safe to do so.”

“Ryanair’s low fares services will be critical to the rebuilding and recovery of the Ukrainian economy, and we will invest heavily in partnership with the Ukrainian Govt and Ukraine’s main airports as we grow to carry up to 10m passengers p.a. to/from Ukraine once we are allowed to do so by the European and Ukrainian Regulatory Authorities.”

Adding to O’Leary’s comments, Ukraine’s Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, Oleksandr Kubrakov, says, “Maintaining the operability of the aviation infrastructure and personnel vocational skills remains vital for us in the conditions of war. Meanwhile, the resumption of flights will be possible as soon as the security situation allows.”

“However, we are already working on solutions and investment plans to enable aircraft to fly up quickly. I am grateful for the leadership in the recovery of our aviation industry, for the specific proposals and decisions of Ryanair, a loyal partner of Ukraine.”

Boryspil Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Oleksiy Dubrevskyy, adds, “The visit of Ryanair senior management to Boryspil Airport is a powerful signal that the largest airline in Europe sees huge potential in the Ukrainian air transport market. We, meanwhile, are ready to move from strategic planning to specific operational actions when the airspace becomes open and safe for civil aviation.”

“I strongly believe that Boryspil Airport will remain the main air gate for the return of our citizens to Ukraine and will continue to play a leading role in the recovery of the Ukrainian economy.”

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