Irish low-cost airline Ryanair will soon have more than doubled its flights from Ukraine since last year.
As of November, the company will operate 113 flights to 40 destinations from four cities across the country, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry.
In November 2018, Ryanair operated just 52 flights to 17 destinations a week from Kyiv and Lviv. One year later, the company will not only have twice as many flights, but also flies from the cities of Odesa in the south and Kharkiv in the east.
The 2019 figures also include two destinations of Ryanair’s subsidiary, Laudamotion.
According to aviasnews.com, the majority of new flights will be based in Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport. It will host 80 flights per week to 26 destinations. Lviv will host 14 flights to five destinations, the same number as last year.
Ryanair will operate 13 flights a week to six destinations out of Odesa International Airport and six flights to three destinations from Kharkiv International Airport. The airline began flights from both airports in June 2019.
The new flights will also double the number of passengers the airline can carry from Ukraine weekly. In November 2018, Ryanair’s fleet of 189-seat Boeing 737-800 jet airliners could transport 19,656 passengers a week. Now that number will rise to 42,714.
In Ukraine, Ryanair fills a popular niche in the country’s commercial aviation market: inexpensive flights to European destinations.
In June 2017, the European Union granted Ukrainians the right to enter the Schengen Zone for a period of up to 90 days every 180 days without a visa. However, the cost of flights remained out of reach for many potential travelers.
But the process of bringing Ryanair to the country proved a challenge. The same month that Ukraine received visa-free travel with the EU, the low-coster cancelled an earlier plan to enter the Ukrainian market, alleging that Boryspil airport had chosen to protect high-cost airlines operating flights from there.
Ukraine International Airlines, the national carrier that previously enjoyed a near monopoly on the Ukrainian market, was widely believed to oppose Ryanair’s entry into the country. The Ukrainian carrier is partially owned and controlled by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.
In March 2018, Ryanair finally entered the Ukrainian market.
Published by “Kyiv post”