Ukraine International Airlines (UIA, Kyiv) has reached an agreement on wet-leasing of medium-haul Boeing 737-900 aircraft to the Latvian carrier airBaltic, the Ukrainian carrier said.
From May 1, the aircraft and crews of the Ukrainian airline will begin to be based at Riga Airport to serve the partner flight network, UIA said in a statement on Monday.
At the same time, it is specified that the UIA aircraft will provide connection to a number of European airBaltic destinations. In particular, the plane is booked for flights to Berlin, Madrid, Brussels, Oslo, Copenhagen and other destinations.
According to the press release, four crews of the Ukrainian carrier (28 people in total) will be involved in the operational work of the UIA aircraft on the partners’ routes. The aircraft will operate flights with the UIA corporate color and livery preserved, as well as the crews will work in the original uniform of the Ukrainian airline.
According to the terms of the contract, a service representative of the Latvian carrier will be present on each UIA flight on airBaltic routes.
“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 amid recent UIA compliance decision not to wet-lease its aircraft to operators who continue flying to Russia. Let this narrow down the scope of opportunities, but it is fully consistent with our morals,” UIA CEO Yevhen Dykhne is quoted in the message.
The deadline for operation of the UIA aircraft in the airBaltic fleet is currently being specified by partners.
Maintenance of Boeing 737-900 as part of the airBaltic fleet will be carried out by UIA foreign contractors.
The Ukrainian airline, as a long-term IOSA certified operator, will ensure operation in accordance with all international operational safety standards.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting in Kyiv with President of Poland Andrzej Duda, President of Latvia Egils Levits, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda and President of Estonia Alar Karis, who are visiting Ukraine.
“The heads of state held a meeting in the format of a working lunch,” the press service of the President of Ukraine reports.
After the talks are over, the presidents will talk to media representatives.
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Germany and Hungary have introduced permit-free travel for humanitarian cargo carriers to Ukraine, according to the Telegram channel of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
The matter concerns the release of carriers from any additional conditions, in particular the need to obtain permits for international freight traffic. This is necessary for the prompt delivery of humanitarian cargo during martial law.
To cross the border with Lithuania, Latvia and Slovakia, you do not need to submit information about the carrier and vehicle.
“We thank our European partners for their support. The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine continues to work with foreign partners in order to speed up the process of transporting humanitarian cargo in an extremely difficult period for Ukraine,” the ministry stressed.
The Latvian national airline airBaltic has decided to suspend night flights to/from Ukraine until the end of February 2022, according to the company’s website.
“The airline will continue to provide flights from Kyiv to both Riga and Vilnius. The safety of our passengers and employees is the main priority of airBaltic. airBaltic is evaluating the current situation before each flight and following the recommendations issued by official authorities. airBaltic is flexible and ready to adjust its flight schedule if necessary,” the statement said.
This week, airBaltic plans to operate day flights between Kyiv and Riga, as well as two flights between Kyiv and Vilnius.
Due to the temporary suspension of flights, the airline canceled five night flights between Kyiv and Riga, as well as two flights between Odesa and Riga. The airline will contact the passengers of the indicated flights and offer them to transfer the booking to other flights.
As reported, the Ministry of Infrastructure is negotiating with Ukrainian airlines to replace flights canceled by foreign airlines.
airBaltic (Air Baltic Corporation AS) connects the Baltic region with more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS countries.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have opened borders for Ukrainians for all types of travel, according to the recommendation of the European Council, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
“Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania have opened for all types of travel for Ukrainians, according to the recommendation of the EU Council. Visa-free weekend in the Baltic countries? Now it is possible again,” Kuleba said on his Twitter.
Gallusman, one of Ovostar Union companies, plans to begin the construction of an egg production complex in Latvia in partnership with the energy company ADVEN in 2021, the project is currently at the stage of assessing potential environmental impacts. According to Ovostar, it is expected that the new production complex will export up to 90% of its products. Another Latvian subsidiary of Ovostar, Ovostar Europe, which since 2015 has been cooperating with the group’s trading partners in the EU countries, will be engaged in export sales. The goal of Ovostar is to enter new markets in Europe and the Middle East.
“Today, the project is at the stage of assessing the potential impact of the new production on the environment. The examination should be completed before the end of this year, and the start of construction work is scheduled for 2021,” the company noted.
It is projected to bring about EUR 100 million investment and 200 new jobs to the Latvian economy.
Ovostar reported that Gallusman and ADVEN had already signed a letter of intent. The partnership of the companies is aimed at finding the best energy and infrastructure solutions for the egg production complex to achieve non-waste production.
“Upon completion of the project, Gallusman will become a leader in the poultry industry and animal feed trade in Latvia, as well as the largest producer of eggs and egg products in Northern Europe,” Ovostar said.
Gallusman is part of the Ovostar Union group. Ovostar Union, one of the leading Ukrainian agricultural holdings, is one of the largest egg producers in Europe. The business model of the company is built on the principle of a full production cycle.