In their case, it was AeroSvit Airlines which carelessly left hundreds of mostly Ukrainian passengers stranded around the world as it entered into bankruptcy proceedings with some $500 million owed to creditors. Faced with massive flight cancellations and delays, many travelers had nowhere to turn since AeroSvit had closed many of its airport offices, leaving them without hotel vouchers.
AeroSvit customers have long complained about the airline’s inferior product, poor customer service and price gouging, all classic pitfalls of a monopoly. Indeed, billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky’s AeroSvit and three other local carriers he controls have a 60 percent share of Ukraine’s air transport market.
But AeroSvit’s latest disregard toward travelers during the peak holiday season has crossed the line.
It was a crippling reminder of what happens when the marketplace isn’t driven by competition, a feature of this national economy. Surprisingly, Ukraine’s anti-trust “watchdogs” – more like lapdogs – don’t consider Kolomoisky’s carriers to be a monopoly.