A new low-cost airline will begin operating flights from Lviv to European cities as early as the autumn, Infrastructure Minister Vladimir Omelian announced on the “24” television channel, avianews.com reports.
The minister declined to name the low-cost airline, stressing that negotiations are currently underway and that there is agreement not to disclose its name. "It will definitely fly to Lviv in the autumn, maybe a little earlier," said the minister.
According to him, the low-cost airline is also considering operating flights to Kyiv, but the process has stalled because the new head of the Boryspil airport has not yet been appointed. "This airline is awaiting his de-jure appointment. They will fly in for talks as soon as this happens," the minister added.
Although the minister did not name the Ryanair airline, he was most probably talking about it because the arrival of this airline has long been under active discussion in Ukraine.
For example, First Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yevhen Kravtsov announced in December 2016 that talks were being held with Ryanair. He did not disclose the essence of the talks, but he did name the airline company. "These talks are confidential at the request of Ryanair," he said in an interview with the Focus publication when asked about the prospects of low-cost flights to Kyiv and Lviv from autumn 2017.
The same thing was said at the Zhuliany airport. "I will tell you a little trade secret. We are actually negotiating with the Ryanair company on launch of flights from the Kyiv (Zhuliany) airport... There is a 90% chance that it will be in the autumn-winter season of next year, i.e. between late October and early November," the Master Avia company’s General Director Oleksii Yakovets stated at the end of last year. Master Avia operates the Zhuliany airport.
The Lviv airport’s Director Tetiana Romanova also said in July 2016 that Ryanair would begin flying to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airlines in Central and Eastern Europe, has been strengthening its position in Ukraine by returning to Lviv and adding one more aircraft to its fleet based in Kyiv.