Azur Air Ukraine has begun preparations for carrying out cargo transportation on board long-haul Boeing 767-300 aircraft, the airline said on its Facebook page.
“Given the quarantine imposed by the Cabinet of Ministers and the closure of border crossing points, the airline’s flights were carried out only as part of evacuation measures to return Ukrainian citizens home. Thus, the company incurs significant losses … In this regard, the airline is looking for ways to realize its potential outside of passenger transportation,” the report says.
Azur Air Ukraine notes that organizational and technical measures are being implemented to partially change the configuration of passenger aircraft to cargo, in particular, the dismantling of passenger seats, etc.
Such measures, according to the company, should ensure the carrying capacity of Boeing 767-300 passenger aircraft and transportation of medical equipment and drugs, essential goods, etc. as part of humanitarian flights.
“The implementation of these measures by the airline’s management will minimize the negative impact of the economic crisis in the state, tax revenues to the state budget, improve the anti-epidemic situation and avoid the mass dismissal of the airline’s workforce,” Azur Air Ukraine expects.
Azur Air Ukraine (formerly Utair Ukraine) began its operations in 2009, changing its name in 2015. The company is based at Boryspil International Airport (Kyiv region), however, it offers flights from the regions, including Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Lviv, and Odesa.
Ukrposhta JSC and the Chinese international logistics operator Cainiao Network, part of the Alibaba Group, launch cargo flights to Ukraine.
Such cooperation will reduce the delivery time of orders from AliExpress under quarantine. Air routes started from the cities with the largest Cainiao distribution centers in Europe, the Ukrposhta press service said on Thursday.
According to the company, the partners in organizing flights are Eleron Airlines, AirBaltic and the national postal operator of Latvia. Regular flights (with a carrying capacity of five tonnes) are carried out by AN-26 aircraft to Lviv, where the parcels undergo customs clearance, sorting and will be delivered to recipients in Ukraine. At the first stages, the aircraft will arrive in Lviv twice a week, but the schedule will be revised later depending on the load.
Ukrposhta also reports that the delivery of parcels will be transferred to non-contact mode – all AliExpress orders worth up to $2 will be delivered to the mailbox (in good order). Home delivery options for more expensive items will be carried out either by a courier or a postman.
The Ukrainian postal operator added that in the first quarter of 2020, Ukrposhta delivered over 4 million items from AliExpress, an increase of 26% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Among the most popular categories of goods that Ukrainians ordered in March were: electronics, accessories, clothing and household goods.