Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has unveiled a quarantine recovery strategy that provides for revision of its flight routes and a significant staff reduction.

The company announced this in a press release, the CFTS portal reports.

“Plans to restart the company’s operation are based on the optimistic scenario that the restrictions on free exit/entry from/to Ukraine will be lifted for both Ukrainians and foreigners on June 15, 2020. UIA is predicting that the airline’s passenger traffic will fall by about 46% to 1.9 million after resumption of operations (of which 0.986 million have already been transported from the beginning of 2020 to the lockdown)," the press release said.

At the initial phase of the restart (until April 2021), the carrier plans to perform international point-to-point medium-haul flights, which will ensure a high load factor without transit support, and resume domestic flights. In the second phase of the restart (after normalization of traffic), the airline plans to restore its minimum international network. Operation of long-haul flights will be possible after creation of key feeder routes, tentatively from April 2021.

UIA plans to use up to 14 aircraft at the beginning of the restart and subsequently increase the number to 28. The size of UIA's fleet of long-range aircraft will be reduced based on the requirements during the first phase of the restart. Subsequently, the airline will decide whether to expand its fleet of wide-body aircraft, taking into account the availability of traffic and depending on the changing market conditions.

“In order to operate efficiently in an aviation market that has changed since the pandemic, UIA is introducing a number of changes to its base product. In particular, the airline plans to simplify its tariff policy, reduce the capacity of its business-class cabins, increase the proportion of direct sales through its website, and introduce on its website a full-cycle service that allows passengers to make changes to their reservations,” the airline said.

The company is also making a significant staff reduction.

“Our goal is to preserve the company and its key personnel, particularly the flight personnel. To our great regret, the significant reduction of the airline’s operations has forced it to lay off 900 highly professional employees,” UIA’s President Yevhen Dykhne is quoted as saying.

As reported previously, UIA performed 45 special cargo flights during the quarantine.