The leaders of Europe's largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, arrived in Kyiv on Thursday, July 20, and held an important meeting on the restoration of the aviation industry in Ukrainian.
Ryanair management held talks with a team from the Ministry of Reconstruction, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration, Minister of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Оlexander Kubrakov.
The working meeting was also attended by the heads of the three airports: Boryspil, Alexey Dubrevsky; Lviv, Tatyana Romanovskaya; and Odessa, Vladimir Semenchenko, as well as the leadership of the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE).
During the visit, Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair Group unveiled a plan to invest more than $3 billion, which will allow flights to resume as soon as possible after the opening of Ukrainian airspace to civil aviation.
In doing so, Ryanair promised to return with 75 low-cost routes from Europe to Ukraine within 8 weeks of the freeing up of Ukrainian airspace.
As the first step towards restarting flights, Ryanair plans to operate 600 flights a week operating from three airports in Ukraine; 50 routes to and from Kyiv and 25 from Lviv or Odesa.
Ryanair, the Government of Ukraine and the operators of Ukraine’s airports have committed to the rapid reconstruction of Ukrainian aviation. Ryanair will use up to 30 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the country's three main airports.
“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 begin flying 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,” Kubrakov said summing up the results of the meeting.
O'Leary said he had been inspired by the dedication of the employees of Boryspil Airport, who are motivated and fully working for the post-war resumption of air traffic.
He said: “Ryanair remains a committed partner in rebuilding and investing in Ukrainian aviation. Today we saw that in the most difficult conditions of the war, the Boryspil airport team demonstrates its professionalism and is fully prepared for the speedy resumption of flights”.
O'Leary went on to say that earlier, in April, the airline has already hired about 60 Ukrainian pilots and about 80 crew members, who are mainly located at Ryanair bases in Poland, in preparation for the market to finally open.
“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,” the CEO of Boryspil Airport said.
Ryanair has become the first international airline whose leaders have visited Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war on Feb. 24, 2022.
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