Ukraine Crisis: Ukraine International Airlines to Wet Lease Boeing 737-900 to airBaltic

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

LONDON – On May 4, it was announced that the Ukrainian carrier, Ukraine International Airlines will be leasing one of its Boeing 737 aircraft to airBaltic.

The Wet Lease…

This week, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has reached an agreement with the Latvian carrier airBaltic to wet-lease one of its Boeing 737-900 aircraft.

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.


At present, Ukraine International Airlines has a fleet of 25 aircraft, this is broken down into 16 Boeing 737’s, two Boeing 767’s and seven Embraer E190s.

In terms of the 737 fleet, this is split into 12 Boeing 737-800’s and four Boeing 737-900’s, all the slightly older NG (Next Generation) model of 737.

This is also Ukraine International Airlines’ first wet lease since they announced that they will be wet leasing their aircraft out after having to halt services due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, back in February 2022.

News of the first wet lease for the airline will be positive news to many and will help bolster the airline and Ukraine itself when the recovery from the war commences.

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