Airports of Ukraine in January-August 2021, according to operational data, serviced 9.77 million passengers, which is 65.7% more than in January-August 2020.
As reported on the website of the State Aviation Service of Ukraine on Thursday, international passenger traffic of airports for the specified period grew by 69.2%, to 8.831 million people.
Ukrainian airlines served 6.089 million people in the first eight months of 2021, which is 96.1% more than in the first eight months of 2020, including international traffic of 5.626 million people (more than doubled).
At the same time, in January-July 2021, airlines performed 47,800 commercial flights (an increase of 68.9%), including 38,800 international (a rise of 70.9%).
As reported, at the end of 2020, Ukrainian airports serviced 8.664 million passengers, which is 64.4% less than in 2019.
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SkyUp (Kiev) has expanded its fleet with a medium-haul Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, increasing its fleet of aircraft to 12 units.
According to the press service of the company, the new aircraft is designed for 215 passengers and will operate flights on all routes in the airline’s schedule. This is the fourth aircraft of this model in its fleet.
“The aircraft, produced in 2008, arrived in Ukraine in the branded SkyUp livery. Also on board are seats of the British brand Acro, which provide more space between the rows for a convenient flight of passengers, and the wings are equipped with split winglets Split Scimitar to save fuel and improve aerodynamics,” the report says.
The aircraft received the state registration number UR-SQL.
Currently, along with the new aircraft, the SkyUp Airlines fleet includes 12 medium-haul aircraft: two Boeing 737-700 NGs with 149 seats, six Boeing 737-800 NGs with 189 seats, four Boeing 737-900 ERs with 215 seats.
By the end of summer, the company plans to replenish its fleet with one more aircraft.
The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine under the leadership of ex-minister Vladyslav Krykliy has failed to implement a program of state support for Ukrainian airlines that carried out evacuation flights during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
“We prepared the logic of compensation and relevant initiatives, submitted it to the Cabinet of Ministers. Then the Ministry of Finance refused with the classic explanation – there is no money. But they promised to return as soon as possible … But this is not even direct funding, but a loyalty program for airport and air navigation services … But even so we were not allowed to realize this,” Krykliy said in an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
He also noted that the issue of compensation to air carriers for 2020 is “not about reforms, but about justice.”
According to Krykliy, absolutely all countries in Europe help their air carriers, but this item was not included in the priorities of the Ukrainian government.
As reported, earlier the Ministry of Infrastructure planned to provide targeted assistance to state airports to create discount programs for airlines that participated in the evacuation of Ukrainian citizens during the first wave of the pandemic lockdown.
Flynas Airlines (Saudi Arabia) enters the Ukrainian market with regular flights between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.
The Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine said on Facebook that on May 31 a meeting was held between Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov and CEO of Flynas Bander Al-Mohanna.
“Each new flight is, first of all, new opportunities for development of business, tourism and Ukraine’s integration into world markets. That is why the increase in regular routes of direct flights is among the priorities of the ministry. We want Ukraine to become a major international air hub, and such steps make us closer to this goal,” Kubrakov said.
Previously, Ukraine did not have regular direct flights with Saudi Arabia. For the flight, a transfer was needed through Istanbul, Doha or Dubai.
Flynas is Saudi Arabia’s leading low cost airline with a fleet of 30 aircraft. The airline operates over 1,200 flights weekly to 35 domestic and international destinations. The airline has recently entered into an agreement with Airbus to purchase 120 new aircraft for a total value of $8.6 billion.
Ukraine is currently at the final stage of negotiations with major partner airlines in an effort to create a national air carrier, Deputy Head of the President’s Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko has said.
“As for the airline, this is not only the president’s dream. We are at the final stage of negotiations with some large airlines, with which we are planning a national air carrier together, because they have experience,” he said on the Ukraine 24 TV channel on Thursday.
Speaking about the development of the airport network, Tymoshenko said that regional hubs have been added to the Big Construction Project: Zakarpattia, Chernivtsi, Rivne, Poltava, Kryvy Rih, construction is also underway in the city of Dnipro.
“Yes, the construction of the airport in Dnipro is not proceeding at the pace that we would like, and not the way the locals want, but today we promised that in a few months you will see the construction of the runway at a greater speed,” he said.
Earlier, in February of this year, Tymoshenko expressed hope that work on the creation of the state air carrier would be completed in 2021.
Former Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the concept of the state airline is based on the aircraft of the state aircraft building enterprise Antonov. Tymoshenko also said that this year it is planned to increase the state budget thanks to its filling with funds from transit air traffic, which, in turn, will be increased by transit in the sky of Ukraine by European air carriers.