Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is expected to resume limited flight operations on June 15, 2020, subject to the entry/exit restrictions for both Ukrainian and foreign nationals to be lifted by the date. The carrier, however, calls it “best case scenario”.
In this initial stage – throughout April 2021 – Ukraine’s flag carrier intends to operate mid-haul international point-to-point flights capable of generating substantial passenger traffic, as well as some domestic flights, utilizing a fleet of 14 narrow-body jets. At stage two, as passenger traffic is regenerated, UIA will restore minimal international route network, gradually increasing the number of aircraft up to 28. Long-haul operations may be resumed after critical feeding flights are re-introduced, presumably in April 2021.
According to the carrier’s own forecast, its total passenger traffic will decrease by 76 per cent in 2020, down to 1.9 million passengers, of which 0.986 million have already been served earlier this year before the lockdown was introduced on March 17. UIA carried 7.963 million passengers in 2019.
To perform efficiently on the post-pandemic market, Ukraine International introduces changes to its base product. The airline plans to simplify its fare structure, reduce business class capacity and increase direct sales via its website.
Its aim is to increase fleet utilisation, cut costs while preserving substantial transit potential. Ukraine International has said it reduced about 900 jobs as it deals with the impact of coronavirus.