LONDON – Ukrainian carrier SkyUp Airlines has been given the approval to operate flights into the United Kingdom this week.
The carrier has been given a TCO (Third Country Operator) permit by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which confirms compliance with the UK’s requirements in aviation security and allows flights into the country.
What Is A TCO?
SkyUp said the following on the TCO and what it means for the carrier:
“The need to obtain British TCO authorization is related to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.”
“If previously the European regulator’s (EASA) authorization was sufficient to carry out flights, then from the beginning of 2023, new documents from the aviation authorities of Great Britain are required.”
“To get authorization, the airline has provided detailed information on operations, fleet, flight history, internal manuals and data on operational procedures, flight safety management system, etc.”
“The British side has also received confirmation from the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine regarding the authenticity of all the documents provided.”
“When all procedures were completed, SkyUp received a document certifying compliance with the requirements of the UK Part-TCO Regulations. From now on, SkyUp can fly to the UK without additional permits.”
Much Needed Market In The Wake of the Ukraine Crisis?
For SkyUp, this is a much-needed market for the carrier, especially with the Ukraine Crisis forcing the carrier to operate on a wet-lease basis instead of scheduled services.
Back in March, the airline offered to transfer 15 of its 737 aircraft to foreign carriers via wet lease.
The prerequisite for this is that the airline is not Russian or Belarussian.
In a statement, the airline said the following:
“We, the Ukrainian airline SkyUp Airlines, appeal to the global aviation family to support us and Ukraine in this fight.”
“In our fleet, we have 15 medium-haul Boeing-737 aircraft, the average age of which is 12 years. They are all ready to work and available for wet leasing”.
“By using our aircraft, you will help us continue our operational activities during the war and pay taxes to the state treasury, save 1,300 employees and support the affected Ukrainians as we will send every tenth dollar or euro to help the victims of the war.”
As recently as August, the airline received another 737-800NG from lessor Avolon.
In addition, the Ukrainian carrier has five B737 MAXs on order: two B737 MAX 8s and three B737 MAX 10s. The order also includes options for five more MAXs.
In the past, the airline has also used four Boeing B737-900s. The planes flew from 2019 to 2021 and were eventually retired from the fleet at the end of November 2021 due to costs. The Boeings were taken back from the lessor, which is GECAS.
Overall, SkyUp is definitely doing all it can to keep afloat during the Ukraine Crisis and is making major gains in the wet leasing space.
It’s going to be interesting to see what other carriers will take on the aircraft and whether we could begin to see more of the liveried type operating in the UK soon.