Ukrainian regional carrier Dniproavia will start regular route service between Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk on May 20. The two airports are only 116 km away from each other, and the flight is 25 minutes long. The route, therefore, is the shortest registered in Ukraine.
The short route is a part of a scheme that involves two carriers operating several flights on Dniproavia’s Embraer ERJ145. The aircraft, which is based in Lviv, will be ferried to Ivano-Frankivsk twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, within the summer schedule, which will be in force until October 28. To get some return on the ferry flight, Dniproavia decided to start selling tickets for the segment.
From Ivano-Frankivsk, the ERJ145 will be operated by another charter carrier, WindRose, to its newly-opened destination—the city of Brescia, in northern Italy. Upon making the return trip from Brescia to Ivano-Frankivsk, the aircraft will fly on the same day back to Lviv, from where it might make an evening flight to Dnepropetrovsk, Dniproavia’s base airport.
WindRose also operates Dniproavia’s ERJ145 on its other routes: Dnepropetrovsk – Larnaca and Iraklion, Larnaca – Odessa, and so on.
The one-way fare on the short route is relatively expensive: 584 hryvna ($23.50), airport and fuel charges not included. A railway ticket for the same route costs about 300 hryvna, and the trip does not exceed two hours. There are also about two dozen buses that run daily between the two cities. “It would be interesting to start selling the transit flights from Lviv to Brescia, we’ll talk to the head-office about it,” representative of the airline in Lviv told Russian Aviation Insider.
In the meanwhile, Ukrainian flagship carrier Ukraine International Airlines is nursing plans to develop its route networks both from Lviv and from Ivano-Frankivsk, so ultimately it could take advantage of Dniproavia’s hop. “Dniproavia could serve as a feeder carrier for the UIA for the flights to the north of Italy, where many people from Western Ukraine work,” Sergey Khizhnyak, a market analyst and head of the Aviation News & Analytics project, explained to Russian Aviation Insider.
According to Aviation News & Analytics, in April Dniproavia operated 206 regular flights from Ukrainian airports, which is 12.3% less than in April last year. In terms of the number of flights, Dniproavia ranks third on the Ukrainian market after UIA (1831 flight in April, up 16.5% YOY) and Turkish Airlines (256 flights, up 22.5%).
Dniproavia has recently revised its flight network, having closed four routes (to Tbilisi, Yerevan and Moscow) and opened three new ones (Batumi from Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa, and from Kyiv to Sophia).
Dniproavia’s fleet counts from five to eight ERJ145s with 48-49 seats. The carrier, as well as Dnepropetrovsk Airport, Ivano-Frankivsk Airport, and UIA, are all associated with business structures controlled by Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoiskiy, founder of Privat Group, which is the largest financial and industry investor in Ukraine.
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