Ukraine Crisis: UIA Launches Charter Operations out of Poland

Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Ukraine International Airlines has launched charter flights out of Poland, in a bid to utilize its aircraft and generate revenue during the Ukraine Crisis.

UIA has teamed up with Polish tour operator ITAKA to fulfill the tourism demand out of the country to destinations across Europe.

UR-PSL, the Boeing 737-900 in question, will be the aircraft to begin such servicing of operations from Katowice Airport.

Looking to the future, the airline plans to operate daily flights both from the base airport, as well as from other airports such as Warsaw, Krakow & Rzeszow.

For the month of July, the following flights have been agreed to operate on a charter basis:

  • Katowice-Malaga
  • Katowice-Arrecife
  • Warsaw-Arrecife
  • Katowice-Antalya
  • Rzeszow-Antalya
  • Katowice-Tenerife
  • Katowice-Tirana
  • Katowice-Las Palmas
  • Warsaw-Las Palmas
  • Katowice-Marsa Alam
  • Krakow-Tirana
  • Katowice-Djerba

It is understood that this deal will be trialed throughout the month of July, with the potential for this to be extended into August if all goes well.

Making Use of Its Aircraft…

The airline has been trying to make use of its expansive fleet, especially since all flights out of Ukraine have been grounded due to the conflict.

Back in February, Ukraine International Airlines confirmed its insurers are terminating insurance of aircraft for all flights in Ukrainian airspace, with some aircraft heading for storage.

Back in May, the airline announced that it would be leasing one of its Boeing 737 aircraft to airBaltic.

The aircraft will be based out of Riga International Airport (RIX) in Latvia for the foreseeable future, as the deadline for this agreement is still being specified by the relevant parties involved.

Not only will the aircraft be based there, but Ukraine International Airlines will provide four crew members and 28 employees in total, to operate the flights, providing some of their staff with short-term work.

Everything on the flight will be like a Ukraine International Airlines flight, however, during each flight, one airBaltic representative will be present to oversee the service.

The aircraft will be planned to operate to a good handful of European destinations within airBaltic’s network, such as Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) in Germany, Brussels Airport (BRU) in Belgium, Copenhagen Airport (CPH) in Denmark, Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), Oslo Airport (OSL) in Norway, and some others.

Ukraine International Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Evheniy Dykhne said about the agreement:

“We are sincerely glad that our European partners are helping both the Ukrainian state and businesses with a clear, absolutely transparent support for Ukraine.”

“This is especially true against the backdrop of the recent decision by UIA Compliance not to wet-lease its aircraft to operators that continue to fly to Russia. This narrows down the scope of opportunities, but it is fully consistent with our morality.”

Adding to Dykhne’s comments, airBaltic’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Gauss, said, “Ukraine International Airlines has been a reliable long-term partner of airBaltic. It is now a very challenging time for the Ukrainian people and their national airline.”

“By temporarily wet-leasing their aircraft, we are also providing short-term work to the employees of Ukraine International Airlines.”

Despite the aircraft being operated for airBaltic, Ukraine International Airlines’ foreign contractors will be on hand to provide any maintenance requirements that are needed during the aircraft’s duration with airBaltic, which will all be in line with IOSA standards.

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