The news that Aerosvit has leased a Boeing 767‑300 ER airliner reflects the growing ambition of one of Ukrainian most impressive business success stories. The airline is planning to use the wide‑bodied, long‑haul aircraft on a new route to Bangkok starting in November. And in the most‑welcome news of all for trans‑Atlantic fliers, the airline is planning to lease a second Boeing for use on routes to New York and Toronto in the New Year.
Meanwhile, the debt‑ridden state airline Air Ukraine, has been fighting a bitter rear guard action against Aerosvit’s more competitive operation. Like Ukraine International Airlines, Aerosvit has benefited from foreign investment, and both airlines operate Boeing aircraft on their long‑haul flights. Air Ukraine, which is a successor of Aeroflot, continues to operate a fleet of Soviet‑era aircraft.
In September, the Transportation Ministry took away Aerosvit’s right to fly to Dubai in response to demands from Air Ukraine’s long unpaid workers. Quite rightly, the Kyiv Economic Court overturned the decision and restored Aerosvit’s right to fly the prized Kyiv‑Dubai route.
But the question remains why the Transportation Ministry was willing to aid a moribund semi‑state structure in an attempt to hobble a more competitive entity that has been built from scratch with private investment.
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