SkyUp Signs ACMI Charter Agreement With US-Bangla Airlines

A SkyUp Airlines Boeing 737-8 on the taxiway.
MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

SkyUp has now signed an ACMI charter contract with US-Bangla Airlines. The first flight under this contract took place on 7 April 2024.

This collaboration furthers the shift in stategy towards ACMI and aircraft leasing for Ukraine’s SkyUp. The latest agreement sees the airline continuing to expand its partner network. 

US-Bangla Contract Details

In the words of SkyUp Head of ACMI department, Oleksii Tarasov, “This partnership marks a significant milestone for us, and we’re eager to embark on this journey of growth and opportunity.”

Under this contract spanning 2024-2025, US-Bangla Airlines will operate flights from its base in Dhaka to destinations including the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Seychelles.

Two aircraft are committed until March 31, 2025, with plans for ferrying in one additional aircraft this month.

SkyUp stated that it is “looking forward for an exciting period of its partner network expansion and service excellence.” 

US-Bangla Airlines is the largest airline in Bangladesh by fleet size. It is a privately-owned airline headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh and operates under the umbrella companies of US-Bangla Group .

The tailplane of a Ukraine SkyUp Boeing 737
Cityswift – Ireland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What is ACMI?

The agreement mentioned above leverages a concept known as ACMI, which stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance. Essentially, it’s a type of aircraft leasing arrangement between two airlines. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

  • The Lessor: In this case, SkyUp Airlines acts as the lessor. They provide three operational aircraft, complete with trained pilots, cabin crew, and maintenance support. They’re also responsible for ensuring all necessary insurance is in place.
  • The Lessee: US-Bangla Airlines, the lessee, benefits from the additional capacity provided by SkyUp’s aircraft. This allows them to expand their operations without the long-term commitment of purchasing new planes. They handle tasks like fueling the aircraft, managing ground handling at airports, and covering any additional fees or taxes.

Operator Benefits of ACMI

ACMI offers a flexible solution for airlines facing various situations. It can be particularly useful for:

  • Seasonal Demand: Airlines can address spikes in passenger traffic during peak seasons by temporarily acquiring extra aircraft through ACMI.
  • New Route Testing: ACMI allows airlines to test the viability of new routes without the upfront investment of deploying their own fleet.
  • Maintenance Coverage: When an airline’s aircraft undergoes scheduled maintenance, ACMI leasing can help bridge any operational gaps.
Close-up of a SkyUp Airlines aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo credit: SkyUp airlines

SkyUp: Strategy Shift to ACMI Operations

SkyUp Airlines, a Ukrainian charter and low-cost carrier, took flight in May 2018 and is headquartered in Kyiv.

The airline now boasts a growing presence with operational bases in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv. SkyUp has carved a niche for itself by offering attractive fares on popular destinations, making travel more accessible

This latest partnership with US-Bangla Airlines furthers the airline’s strategic shift towards ACMI operations, initiated in 2022 following the start of the large-scale conflict.

Since then, SkyUp™ has steadily established itself as a reliable provider for various airlines. Its customers include Tunisair, FlyOne, HiSky SRL, HiSky Europe SRL, Wizz Air Malta, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, Corendon Dutch, Tailwind Airlines, and FlyEgypt.

Their dedication to quality was further recognized in summer 2023 when ch-aviation included SkyUp Airlines among the top 20 ACMI service providers in European airspace.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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