The Ministry of Infrastructure expects low-cost airlines to launch domestic flights in Ukraine in 2019, with ticket prices starting at UAH 500.

Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian announced this on the Kanal 5 television channel on November 13, the CFTS portal reports.

According to the minister, the situation involving the launch of domestic flights by low-cost airlines in Ukraine is changing, and 2019 will be indicative in this regard.

“I think that Kharkiv-Odesa, Kyiv-Odesa, and Kharkiv-Lviv are possible options next year, [with tickets starting] from UAH 500,” said Omelian.

As reported earlier, the Bravo airline operated flights on the Kyiv-Odesa route in 2016, with ticket prices starting from UAH 500. However, the airline was forced to close this route because the flights were not cost-effective.

During the presentation of the SkyUp airline in December 2017, it was announced that the carrier would launch domestic flights with ticket prices starting at UAH 499. Kyiv-Odesa, Kharkiv-Odesa, and Lviv-Odesa flights were promised, but the airline has not begun operating them after almost a year. The minister had previously positioned this airline as a low-cost airline that would also operate domestic flights. After launching charter flights, the airline announced the beginning of sales of tickets for regular domestic flights from Kyiv and Kharkiv to Odesa at the end of July this year. However, SkyUp later postponed the launch of regular flights to the winter.

In an interview with the CFTS portal, the Kharkiv Airport’s Commercial Director Vladyslav Illin said that the airport was primarily interested in Kharkiv-Odesa flights and that the possibility of flights to Lviv was a remote prospect.

In another interview with the CFTS, the Ryanair airline’s CEO Michael O'Leary said that the low-cost airline could launch domestic flights in Ukraine only after establishing a base in the country. "Of course, Ukraine – with its size – may well be a market for domestic flights. But this requires another important component – we must first open our base in Ukraine and station our aircraft here before we can talk about launching domestic flights," he said.