Prominent Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoiskyi is one of the ultimate beneficiaries of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the largest airline in the country. The head of UIA’s supervisory board, Aron Mayberg, announced this in an interview with the Interfax Ukraine news agency. This information previously circulated on the market only as a rumor, but there was no official confirmation.
"If this information is important, I can disclose it. Remember that I said that if a rule that requires disclosure of this information were adopted, we would disclose it. We did not disclose this information for only one reason: to initiate adoption of this rule by the authorities. Yes, Ihor Kolomoiskyi is among the beneficiaries of UIA. My understanding is that passengers have a right to know about it and provisions of the law need to be implemented," he said.
According to the head of the airline’s supervisory board, the society misunderstands the need to abolish the rules on ownership of a 51% stake in the carrier by Ukrainians citizens.
"Dear ladies and gentlemen, this is an international norm! They say, ‘But it does not apply within the framework of the Common Aviation Area agreement with the European Union!’ Of course, when you are joining the European space, you are somewhat considered a resident of this unified space. Therefore, when Ukraine joins it, any country will be considered as a resident of Ukraine and vice versa. However, there is the Chicago Convention, which states that there should be national ownership of capital, substantial ownership. There is no getting away from this because if we change this rule, it will be the first step towards deferment of the signing of the Common Aviation Area agreement with the European Union," said Mayberg.
According to him, the problem is that there is no expert to prove to the society and parliamentary deputies that one rule or another is right.
"Someone has to say it. In my opinion, the minister of transport should say it. He should stand up and say, ‘That is impossible’ or, on the contrary, ‘Yes, it is possible.’ The most important thing is that something should not be done in the interests of any company, whether UIA or another company. This is in the national interest. Yes, companies may encounter problems. When a company arrives in another country, it will be told to prove its substantial ownership by national capital. In general, I believe that there should be experts in each country to whom the society should listen and, of course, they should be high-ranking officials who are responsible for one area or another," Mayberg said.
Founded in 1992, UIA is the largest airline company in Ukraine. It is based at the Boryspil airport (Kiev). It has a fleet of 31 aircraft: 27 medium-haul and four long-haul aircraft.
According to the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market, Ontobet Promotions Limited (Cyprus) owned 15.91% of the shares in UIA and Capital Investment Project (Kiev) owned 74.16%. Capital Investment Project is owned by Investment Projects Management, which Ontobet Promotions Limited has owned since June 2012.