UIA, Ukraine's largest airline, has suspended the operation of all its airplanes that can perform commercial flights. Oleksandr Polianskyi, the head of the airline’s trade union/united representative body, announced this at a trade union meeting, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Avianews publication.

The trade union cited a misunderstanding between shareholders, leasing companies, and the newly appointed general director of the airline as the reason for the suspension of the operations of the airplanes.

According to a UIA announcement dated 19 September, Kyrylo Zvonarev, who was previously the deputy general director of the Boryspil airport, has been appointed as the airline’s new general director. The appointment was made after the contract of the airline’s previous general director Yevhen Dykhne expired. The airline did not specify who appointed Zvonarev.

However, according to the trade union, Dykhne remains listed as the general director of UIA in the state register, but he is not performing the functions of the general director because of the expiration of his contract and a conflict between the airline’s shareholders. The airline cannot make payments because of this conflict, the trade union said.

Four UIA aircraft (an Embraer 190 (UR-EMA), a Boeing 737-800 (UR-PSF), and two Boeing 737-900 (UR-PSI and UR-PSL)) were performing flights at the beginning of September. They were all performing flights in Europe.

According to the Flightradar24 aircraft flight tracking information website, the UR-PSI last performed a flight on 12 September, the UR-EMA on 16 September, the UR-PSF on 19 September, and the UR-PSL on 30 September 30. This means that only one UIA airplane was performing flights at the end of September.

The conflict between the airline’s main shareholders (Aron Mayberg and Ihor Kolomoiskyi) became public at the end of 2021, when there was an attempt to replace Dykhne as the general director of the airline. He sued to block the possible replacement of the head of the airline.

Dykhne’s contract has since expired, but a court decision that prohibits amendment of the state register regarding the head of the airline remains in effect.