Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plans to start the usual mode of dialog with passengers in one month, UIA President Yevhen Dykhne has said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
“I won’t tell you the exact number how many passenger requests have been handled right now. Since the termination of flights, we have about 27,000 requests pending response. And almost the same number arrived at UIA client communication platforms in the early days of this period,” he said.
According to Dykhne, the additional difficulty with handling passenger requests is that UIA is forced to quit the usual work through call centers under quarantine conditions.
“Most often, call centers are built on open space technology and work in them does not comply with quarantine conditions. Therefore, our own call center and the external call centers that serviced us were closed. We switched to e-mailing and messaging with passengers,” the president of UIA said.
A total of up to 150 people in the airline is involved in e-mailing and messaging with passengers. In one working day, this number ranges from 60 to 110, as such employees work remotely, while in the call center up to 600 employees of the airline worked simultaneously at the peak hours.
“Today, we handle up to 2,000 requests a day, but it’s still 90% less than it is being received. I think that we will need another month of work in order to get into the usual dialogue with passengers, not all-hands work, because mailing and messaging, of course, is a longer process than voice calls,” he said.
Ukrainian Airlines SkyUp (Kyiv) has changed the flight program to Italy and Israel amid spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-9) epidemic, the press service of the company said.
“In view of spreading of the COVID-19 as well as toughening of the measures to limit it to the different countries, in particular Italy and Israel, SkyUp Airlines is reducing its flight program to these countries,” reads the statement.
In some areas, the start of the flight program is postponed to the beginning of summer, and in some areas the number of flights will be cut.
According to the airlines, on the route Lviv – Tel Aviv flights with a departure on March 19, 26, 30, April 2, 6, 13 will be canceled. Flights on the Zaporozhzhia – Tel Aviv route with a departure on March 15, 22 and 29, April 5 and 12 will also be canceled.
In addition, the flight program on the Kharkiv-Tel Aviv route, the start of which was scheduled for March 29, is completely canceled.
Besides, SkyUp postponed the start of flights from Kyiv to Rome, Bergamo, Bologna and Pisa – on June 1, 2020; from Kyiv to Bari – on May 1; from Lviv to Rome and Bergamo – on June 1.
At the same time, flights to Naples will continue unchanged.
The start of flights to Rimini and Lamezia Terme, scheduled for May 30, as well as to Catania (early May 26), remains unchanged.
The airlines also noted that tickets for canceled flights could be exchanged free of charge for other dates or receive a full refund. In case of flight cancellation, the airline will provide a free date change or a full refund of the ticket price.
If a passenger wishes to cancel the trip to Israel for personal reasons, SkyUp will provide a free date change.
Passengers who have purchased tickets for flights Kharkov – Tel Aviv – Kharkiv will be offered a free change of the place of departure / arrival to Zaporizhia instead of Kharkiv or a full refund of the cost of the ticket.
Earlier, on the evening of March 12, Israel imposed restrictions on foreigners arriving in the country. Entry will be permitted only to those who confirm the ability to provide 14-day home quarantine.
Since March 10, Italy due to a sharp outbreak of coronavirus incidence, has imposed a ban on public gatherings, canceled sporting events, and banned movement inside the country without good reason.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) in connection with information on coronavirus spread offers passengers who have flights to Italy and a number of other countries in March-April 2020 to change the departure date for free, the company’s press service has said.
“To date, there are no any prohibitions on the termination of air traffic with Italy received from international or national competent authorities. In this regard, UIA continues to fly to Italian cities, namely, to Rome, Milan and Venice according to the plan. The airline understands that some passengers who planned their trips to/from Italy in March and April may be concerned about this situation. Thus, UIA offers the opportunity to change the departure date free of charge within the tickets’ validity (if there are free seats in the initial booking class),” reads the statement.
The offer concerns flights from Ukraine to Italy, Germany and Switzerland; from Italy to India, Turkey and Egypt; from Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland to Israel and applies to the transit flights through Ukraine to Italy.
All additional services are automatically transferred to the next flight. Tickets are returned in accordance with the rules of the applicable fare.
“Now we are receiving single requests for changing the departure date, there are no mass refusals of passengers to fly to Italian cities, flight loading remains high. Many airlines reduce or even cancel flights to Italy. We understand how important it is to maintain air traffic between countries and economies in this situation. For our part, to make sure the safety of the flights of our passengers and crews, we take all possible measures and follow the appeal issued in the IATA press release, namely do our job consistently and professionally, without panic,” Yevhenia Satska, UIA Communications Director, said.
Ukrainian airlines in February 2020 performed 89% of all flights from the country’s airports with a 15-minute deviation from the schedule, which corresponds to an increase of 3.1 percentage points compared to the previous airlines’ punctuality study for January 2020 (85.9%).
According to data the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine posted on its website, in general, in January Ukrainian airlines operated 2,929 flights.
At same time, the ministry indicates that the punctuality of foreign airlines in February 2020 increased to 87.3% (from 86.6% in January 2020). The total number of flights is 2,739.
Of the Ukrainian airlines that performed more than 50 flights in January, the most punctual was Windrose airline with an indicator of 92.7% with a total number of flights being 315. It is followed by Ukraine’s largest airline, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), with 91.6% with the total number of flights being 1,770 and Motor Sich with 90.4% and 114 flights. The next are SkyUp (81.9% and 514 flights) and Azur Air Ukraine (79%, 195 flights).
Among foreign airlines, the punctuality rating with 100% was headed by Onur AI (16 flights), Alitalia (15 flights), and Scandinavian Airlines (six flights).
Among the low cost airlines in January, the Irish Ryanair had the best punctuality indicators – 89.7% with 465 flights. Wizz Air Hungary had 84.8% with 552 flights. Wizz Air UK had 81% with 21 flights. Pegasus Airlines is fourth with punctuality of 60% and 90 flights.
SkyUp Airlines in May 2020 will launch flights from Kyiv, Lviv, Zaporizhia, Odesa, and Kharkiv to the cities of Greece.
According to the airline’s press service, flights to Heraklion (Crete island) will be launched from Kyiv on April 25. First they will be carried out on Saturdays and Sundays, and from May 26 they will be carried out on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The cost of a one-way ticket with baggage is from UAH 3,300.
In addition, from May 30 flights to Corfu Island are launched from Kyiv, and from May 31 to Zakynthos (Zakynthos Island).
Flights to Corfu will be operated on Saturdays. The ticket price starts from UAH 3,400. Flights to Zakynthos will be performed on Sundays, the ticket price is from UAH 3,400.
Flights are launched only to Heraklion from Zaporizhia, Lviv, Odesa, and Kharkiv.
SkyUp LLC was registered in Kyiv in June 2016. The founder is ACS-Ukraine LLC of Tetiana and Yuriy Alba, who also own the JoinUp! tour operator.
SkyUp Airlines suspends its flights to the United Arab Emirates from February 1, 2020 due to the closure of the airspace over Iran and Iraq.
“From February 1, 2020, SkyUp Airlines suspends its regular flights to Sharjah (UAE) from Zaporizhia, Lviv and Kharkiv. This is connected with the prolongation of the ban on flights in the airspace over the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq, which was introduced by the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine from January 9, 2020,” the company said on Friday.
SkyUp also said that bypassing of the territories of Iran and Iraq increases the duration of the flights and makes it necessary to make a stop to refuel the plane.