SkyUp Malta, a subsidiary of Ukrainian SkyUp Airlines, has received its approval certificates from the Maltese authorities, establishing itself as a carrier in the EU.
SkyUp was awarded its Air Operator Certificate (AOC), Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization certificate (CAMO), and an Air Operator License (AOL) by the Transport Malta Civil Aviation Authority last week, granting the airline an EU-based subsidiary.
SkyUp Malta has registered its first aircraft for its launch fleet, a Boeing 737-800. This aircraft, registration of 9H-SAU, was formerly registered UR-SQM in the company’s Ukraine fleet. The aircraft was built in 2011 and has a 189-seat cabin configuration.
By the end of 2023, SkyUp MT plans to receive more aircraft. These aircraft will no longer be from the fleet of Ukrainian SkyUp but will arrive under new contracts.
The Power of Freedom
It is planned to emblazon “The Power of Freedom” inscription across the fleet of aircraft. The airline says this is being made in partnership with the fundraising platform UNITED24 with the intention of increasing support to Ukraine.
Oleksandr Alba, co-owner of SkyUp Airlines, said, “SkyUp brand with Ukrainian DNA is international now. We are one of the first to do so in the history of Ukrainian aviation. For us, this means opening up new opportunities and scaling the business.”
Alba also stated that the airline has ambitions to compete with the airlines of the EU and become recognised as such. It was also stated that with the airline’s fleet entering the international arena, it contributes to the country’s global efforts and “to bring Ukraine’s victory even closer.”
“Symbolically and intentionally, the first aircraft in the fleet of the Maltese airline SkyUp MT is the plane with the inscription The Power of Freedom, because even this iron bird has a Ukrainian heart,” Alba added.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, SkyUp has been providing humanitarian, evacuation and wet-lease services on its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.
It had evacuated all but one of its fleet from Ukraine prior to and during the invasion. Prior to the invasion, the airline performed routes across Europe, primarily to popular holiday destinations.
In the release issued by the airline, it states the decision for Malta was to allow the air carrier to “effectively fulfill contracts on the terms of the wet license, and in the future to open regular flights from Europe.”
This is achieved through the use of an AOC and AOL, which grants flying rights to/from and, crucially, within the EU.
Reiterating the ambitious goals of the co-owner, the statement suggested the airline has ambitions to expand on its Malta foothold into the ACMI and charter market in the EU, and make the Ukrainian aviation brand more recognisable.
Speaking on the announcement, Director General of the Civil Aviation Directorate of Malta, Charles Pace, said: “I am proud that another important player in the aviation industry has chosen Malta. We are delighted to welcome SkyUp MT and welcome them in the 9H* community.”
The above image shows Transport Malta officials, including Pace, awarding SkyUp MT their certification.
Malta has recently become a welcoming hotspot for fledging and expanding airlines. Many of the AOCs in Malta have been established in the last 5 years, seeing a marked increase in aviation activity for the island. Such heavy-weight airlines as WizzAir and Ryanair have established Malta-based subsidiaries.
Dmytro Seroukhov, CEO at SkyUp Airlines and Accountable Manager at SkyUp MT, said: “[The] SkyUp MT team is sincerely grateful to the Civil Aviation Directorate Malta for the professional approach, openness and the provided opportunity to fully work in the EU market.”