Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has been granted permits to operate regular flights to four regional airports in Poland: Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan, and Wroclaw. The State Aviation Service’s commission for issuing flight permits made the relevant decision on Thursday, November 30, the CFTS reports.
UIA’s applications were approved because there are no restrictions on flights between Ukraine and Poland. An "open skies" regime has existed between the two countries since March 2016.
According to UIA’s application, the airline plans to operate regular flights to four Polish airports seven times a week. The date of launch of the new flights is not yet known and information about the new flights is not yet available in the airline’s ticket reservation system.
UIA’s President Yurii Miroshnikov recently said that the program for operation of flights to regional airports in Poland was aimed at increasing the airline’s transit passenger traffic. "Transit needs to be fed. We see, feel, and understand our capabilities and the attractiveness of the Ukrainian hub in Boryspil. At the same time, we understand and feel the shortage and shortcomings of our own Ukrainian market due to a number of reasons: political, economic, and a low living standard. Therefore, we are looking for additional markets for ourselves. Poland is a country with a large and well-off population. There is one more factor: a sharp and substantial increase in the number of Ukrainian citizens working in Poland. This atmosphere creates a market for flights. Therefore, the program for operation of flights to regional airports in Poland is our attempt to gain access to this additional market. Primarily, it should be a market of transit passengers through our hub airport in Boryspil," the head of UIA said at a press conference in Kyiv on 24 November.
As reported, the LOT Airlines (Poland) operates flights from Warsaw to five Ukrainian airports: Boryspil, Kyiv-Zhulyany, Odesa, Lviv, and Kharkiv. The carrier also operates several flights to the Lviv airport from the regional airports of Poznan and Bydgoszcz, and it plans to launch flights from Olsztyn in March 2018.
In addition, the Wizz Air airline operates flights between Ukraine and Poland. This low-cost airline operates flights from the Zhulyany airport to Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Katowice, and Lublin. It also operates flights from Lviv to Wroclaw. The low-cost airline will add flights from Kharkiv to the Katowice airport and flights from Lviv to Katowice and Gdansk in April.