Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is expanding the list of destinations for July and August 2020 due to the easing by some countries of the border crossing regime for Ukrainian tourists.
According to the press service of the company, domestic flights will be operated in three directions – Kherson, Odesa and Lviv.
So, in the period from July 1 to July 30, UIA will serve domestic flights to Odesa, Lviv and Kherson, flying every Friday to the regions and returning to Kyiv every Sunday. However, in the first half of August, it is planned to change the schedule for the direction Kyiv-Odesa: flights will be operated on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (Odesa-Kyiv on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). From August 16 to August 31, a flight to Odesa on Thursdays may also be added.
International flights, as UIA notes, will be operated in the directions of the airline’s regular flight program: Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Dubai, Tbilisi, Batumi, Larnaca, Athens, London, Nice, Rome, Naples, Baku, Berlin, Milan, Munich, Prague, Yerevan, Madrid, Vienna, Barcelona, Chisinau, and there will also be periodic flights to Toronto.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has installed the first laboratory for PCR and antibody tests at Boryspil International Airport (Kyiv region).
UIA President Yevhen Dykhne said on Facebook that now the laboratory will be used to test UIA crews, however, it will also be able to provide for the needs of departing or arriving passengers, if the arrival country requires a corresponding certificate.
“For example, Tunisia, with which air traffic will soon be restored, allows free border crossing with the availability of a PCR test,” he added.
Dykhne said that a PCR test currently has the highest specificity and sensitivity, in contrast to rapid tests. The material for analysis is a throat swab, and the analysis takes three hours. At the same time, a possible simultaneous loading of the laboratory is 96 samples.
In addition, he said the laboratory also provides for the option of an urgent PCR test of one individual sample within 40 minutes and testing for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, which allows to determine the earlier infection and the presence of immunity (the test material is blood from a vein, the speed is 86 tests per hour).
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA, Kyiv) canceled most of its international flights until August 1, 2020 and will start to resume its flight network from destinations with high tourism and economic potential.
The airline’s press service said that after Ukraine opens international flights on June 15, Ukraine International Airlines will follow the policy of balanced flight restart.
The airline said that the reasons for the delayed restart of the flight program is the fact that the opening of borders does not occur on a parity basis, most countries do not confirm the possibility of free border crossing for Ukraine’s citizens, and many countries introduce restrictive measures in the form of testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) or self-isolation when arriving in the destination country.
“In order to adapt to the new needs of the air passenger market, Ukraine International Airlines closed the sale of air tickets for most international destinations until August 1, 2020. Thus, the airline seeks to prevent inflated expectations of passengers and the cancellation of unloaded flights,” the airline said.
The airline will continue to operate evacuation flights and some flights from the regular program in June.
At the stage of resuming international flights during June, the airline also sees potential in regular internal and international flights, plans to operate flights in the following directions: London (Heathrow Airport) – Kyiv (evacuation) on June 18; Kyiv – Kherson, Kyiv – Odesa on June 19; Kyiv – Bangkok on June 20; Bangkok – Kyiv (evacuation), Kherson – Kyiv, Odesa – Kyiv, Kyiv – Istanbul – Kyiv on June 21; Kyiv – New York – Kyiv (evacuation) on June 22; Kyiv – Amsterdam – Kyiv on June 23; Kyiv – Miami, Kyiv – Paris on June 24; Miami – Kyiv (evacuation) on June 25; Kyiv – Istanbul – Kyiv, Kyiv – Athens – Kyiv, Kyiv – Odesa, Kyiv – Lviv, Kyiv – Kherson on June 26; Kyiv – Istanbul – Kyiv, Dubai – Kyiv on June 28; Kyiv – Tel Aviv – Kyiv, Kherson – Kyiv, Odesa – Kyiv, Lviv – Kyiv on June 29; Kyiv – Amsterdam – Kyiv on June 30.
“The decisive factor in the future planning of UIA flights will be, first of all, the economic feasibility of launching each separate direction, as well as the prospects for further liberalization of the border crossing regime for Ukrainians,” the airline said.
Initially, Ukraine International Airlines intends to focus on the opening of flights and destinations with high tourism and economic potential.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) will resume flights from Kyiv to Kherson International Airport, the head of Kherson Regional State Administration has said.
“I would like to inform that Ukraine International Airlines will resume flights from Kyiv to Kherson on June 19,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“Today negotiations with airlines to establish flights between Lviv and Kherson were held. We hope that soon residents of western Ukraine will be able to easily reach our region and enjoy summer in the south,” he said.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA, Kyiv) has begun a process of the forced dismissal of 900 employees (35.2% of the company’s staff as of early 2020) due to the closure of air traffic because of anti-epidemic quarantine measures introduced by Ukraine, the company’s press service has said.
“Now the company’s management is taking all possible measures to reduce costs and generate income from single flights. Our goal is to preserve the company and key personnel, in particular flight crews. Unfortunately, a significant decrease in the airline’s activities resulted in a forced reduction of 900 UIA highly professional employees,” UIA President Yevhen Dykhne said.
The airline’s press service told Interfax-Ukraine that UIA has already begun the process of staff reduction in accordance with the law, which will require a minimum of two months.
Dykhne emphasized that in connection with the introduction of restrictive measures on regular passenger air transportation since March 17 of this year, UIA’s work was practically stopped.
The company also noted that the UIA long-haul fleet will also be reduced.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA, Kyiv) intends to operate medium-haul international point-to-point flights capable of demonstrating substantial passenger load without transit feeding, the airline said in a Thursday press release.
The airline said that the airline expects to resume operations by referencing the best case scenario provided that the entry/exit restrictions for both Ukrainian and foreign nationals are lifted effective June 15, 2020.
UIA predicted that Ukraine International’s passenger traffic will decrease by approximately 46%, i.e., down to 1.9 million passengers (of which 0.986 million have already been carried before the lockdown).
At stage one – through April 2021 – the carrier intends to operate medium-haul international point-to-point flights capable of demonstrating substantial passenger load without transit feeding. Ukraine international expects to resume domestic operations. At stage two, as soon as passenger traffic is regenerated, the airline will restore minimal international route network.
UIA said that long-haul operations may be resumed after critical feeding flights are re-introduced to the schedule – in or about April 2021.
“Right after Ukraine International resumes operations, the airline plans to operate 14 aircraft, gradually increasing the number up to 28. The long-haul fleet will be optimized with due allowance for the necessities of stage one. Later on, based on the traffic and market landscape (namely drop in demand for long-haul aircraft), the carrier will decide on extending its widebody fleet,” the airline said.
To perform efficiently on the post-pandemic market, Ukraine International introduces changes to its base product.
“The airline plans to facilitate its fare policy, cut down business class capacity, increase the sales share via the website, and offer customers full-cycle service on the website providing passengers with an opportunity to make changes in their bookings. The airline is committed to increasing fleet operation and cutting costs while preserving substantial transit potential,” UIA said.