Ryanair held a meeting on Thursday 20 July in Kyiv, together with Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, at which it unveiled plans to invest over $3 billion to rapidly rebuild Ukraine's aviation industry once the war ends and EASA declares that flying to/from Ukraine is safe again. Ryanair also held meetings on Thursday 20 July in Kyiv with the Ukraine's main airports, Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa in Boryspil International Airport, at the invitation of Oleksiy Dubrevskyy, CEO of Boryspil international Airport.
During the visit, Ryanair's senior management and the airport examined the condition of the airport terminals, baggage claim and passenger check-in and boarding gate areas, control points, aprons, where they saw the state of the airport infrastructure and its operational readiness to resume flights when safe to do so. Ryanair congratulated the efforts of the employees of Boryspil International Airport to save and maintain the operability of the airport's infrastructure facilities during the war.
Michael O'Leary, CEO of the Ryanair Group, said, "Ryanair remains a committed partner in rebuilding and investing in Ukraine aviation. Today we saw that in the most difficult conditions of war, the Boryspil airport team demonstrates its professionalism and is fully ready for the resumption of flights as soon as possible.
Ryanair has committed to returning with low fare flights to/from Ukraine within eight weeks of the reopening of Ukraine air space. This will see 600 weekly flights being operated by Ryanair aircraft from the main airports of Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, connecting these cities to over 20 EU capitals. In addition, Ryanair plans to open daily domestic flights between Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, as soon as those airports are able to handle them.
Ryanair plans in the first 12 months post-war to offer over five million seats to/from and within Ukraine, and this will build to over 10 million seats over a five year period. Ryanair, the government of Ukraine, and its main airports have committed to a rapid rebuild in Ukraine's aviation, and Ryanair will base up to 30 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth over $3 billion at the three main Ukraine airports.
O'Leary said, "Ryanair was Ukraine's second largest airline before the unlawful Russian invasion in February 2022. Once the skies over Ukraine have reopened for commercial aviation, Ryanair will charge back into Ukraine linking the main Ukraine airports with over 20 EU capitals, and we are working closely with the Ukrainian government to rebuild Ukraine's aviation, industry and its economy.
"The fastest way to rebuild and restore the Ukrainian economy will be with low fare air travel. Ryanair intends to invest heavily in Ukraine and lead this aviation recovery by investing up to $3 billion and basing up to 30 new Boeing MAX aircraft at Ukraine’s 3 main airports in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. Having previously also served Kharkiv and Kherson airports prior to the invasion, Ryanair will return to serving those airports too, as soon as the infrastructure has been restored.
"Ryanair remains committed to rebuilding and investing in Ukraine. We currently employ hundreds of Ukrainian pilots, cabin crew and IT professionals, and we will look to creating thousands of new jobs in aviation for Ukrainian citizens when Ukraine skies reopen. Ukraine is a country of 40 million people, many of whom have been dispersed across Europe over the past year. We look forward to being able to reunite these families using Ryanair low fare services to the main Ukrainian airports as soon as it is safe to do so. Ryanair's low fares services will be critical to the rebuilding and recovery of the Ukrainian economy, and we will invest heavily in partnership with the Ukrainian government and Ukraine's main airports as we grow to carry up to 10m passengers p.a. to/from Ukraine once we are allowed to do so by the European and Ukrainian Regulatory Authorities."
Summarising the results of the meeting, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov noted, "Maintaining the operability of the aviation infrastructure and personnel vocational skills remains vital for us in the conditions of war. Meanwhile, the resumption of flights will be possible as soon as the security situation allows. However, we are already working on solutions and investment plans to enable aircraft to fly up quickly. I am grateful for the leadership in the recovery of our aviation industry, for the specific proposals and decisions of Ryanair, a loyal partner of Ukraine."
Oleksiy Dubrevskyy, CEO of Boryspil Airport, said, "The visit of Ryanair senior management to Boryspil Airport is a powerful signal that the largest airline in Europe sees huge potential in the Ukrainian air transport market. We, meanwhile, are ready to move from strategic planning to specific operational actions when the airspace becomes open and safe for civil aviation. I strongly believe that Boryspil Airport will remain the main air gate for the return of our citizens to Ukraine and will continue to play a leading role in the recovery of the Ukrainian economy."
© 2023 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.