Ireland’s low cost airline Ryanair is holding talks with five Ukrainian airports on launching flights and hopes to start flying to new destination to Ukraine in 2019, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has said in an interview with the Ukrainian Tourism Newspaper. “Now we are negotiating with five more Ukrainian cities – maybe next summer we will open our flights there. I think we will develop in Ukraine very aggressively and rapidly increase the pace of our presence in the market,” he said.
At the same time, O’Leary expressed regret that the airline cannot yet launch all the destinations from Ukraine that it would like to launch, in connection with the existing restrictions in intergovernmental agreements.
He also said that Kyiv remains the key destination for the airline. When asked if negotiations with the airports of such cities as Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kherson and Vinnytsia are being conducted, O’Leary said that the negotiations are being held “almost with all the mentioned cities.”
“I will be very glad if next summer we will be able to offer our passengers flights to such a beautiful city as Odesa, but it is too early to talk about the specifics. Our and Ukrainian negotiators still need to work hard for the successful implementation of this project,” the Ryanair CEO said.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure considers it necessary to invest in the construction and repair of runways at regional airports, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan has said on the air of Channel Five. “A lot of airlines are ready to enter Ukrainian regional airports, but there are no conditions for that. There are no runways, there are no terminals that would accelerate servicing, while this is one of the key issues for low cost air carriers. Therefore we must invest in the runways as a state to get a highly competitive market and business for the state as well,” he said.
According to Omelyan, the development of airports will ensure a quick return on investment. Earlier, the minister said that the reconstruction of the airport in Odesa is to be completed in 2019. It is also planned to additionally allocate UAH 1.17 billion for the construction of a runway at Odesa airport. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the construction of a new runway will allow Odesa airport to accept heavier aircraft, including Boeing-767, which, in turn, can double passenger traffic.
Boryspil (Kyiv) and Lviv international airports have signed agreements on the start of flights to Ukraine with Ireland’s low cost airline Ryanair. An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary signed the agreements with Director General of the Boryspil airport Pavlo Riabikin and Director General of Lviv airport Tetiana Romanovska on Friday at the Boryspil airport in the presence of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The airline has started selling tickets for Ukrainian flights in its booking system.
Poroshenko said that Ryanair will start flying in October 2018 and will launch flights to 10 destinations from Kyiv and five from Lviv.
The Ukrainian president said that the arrival of the airline to Ukraine is the seal of quality of investment climate. He said that the tickets for Ukrainians will be cheaper than EUR 40 and the airline seeks to carry 1 million Ukrainians in the first year of its operation.