Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has taken delivery of its first medium-haul Embraer 195 jet, with another one of the type expected later this year. They replace the vintage Boeing 737 Classic aircraft that were phased out last year.
The 12-years old short/mid-haul aircraft (with registration number UR-EMG) on lease from GECAS, has arrived a year later than originally planned and becomes the sixth Embraer aircraft in the Ukrainian flag carrier’s fleet.
With its ability to accommodate up to 116 passengers in a two-class (business and economy) cabin configuration, UIA expects to operate it across its medium-haul and domestic route network and is scheduled to operate its first commercial flights under the UIA call sign in the first part of March.
“This Embraer 195 is the first to arrive in the framework of the UIA 2019 fleet re-engineering programme,” advises Evgeniya Satska, UIA’s communications director. “This [specific variant] will improve service and efficiency on our domestic and some short-haul international routes and will be a good replacement for the older Boeing 737 Classic aircraft that were decommissioned at the end of 2018. This replacement will be particularly relevant on domestic flights, as some regional airports cannot accept the larger Boeing 737-800 aircraft.”
The airline is planning to have 11 E-Jets by 2020, UIA co-owner Aron Mayberg claimed last February.
The total number of aircraft in Ukraine International’s fleet increased to 43 units, consisting of three B777-200ERs, four B767-300ERs, 26 B737-800s, four B737-900s and five medium-haul Embraer-190s and an Embraer-195.
The next step towards UIA’s medium haul fleet renewal will be the arrival of three newest-generation Boeing 737 MAX-8s, with deliveries originally planned to start at the end of March. However in the wake of the 10 March crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737MAX-8, Ukraine International made a statement on March 13th saying that it “is currently engaged in an active dialogue with the manufacturer” and “the aircraft will enter commercial operation only when the required procedures are carried out, the aircraft complies with all safety requirements, and permission has been received for its flights from the aviation authorities of at least from the FAA, EASA and State Aviation Authority of Ukraine.”
In the first two months of 2019, UIA carried more than one million passengers, a 9 per cent improvement year-on-year, with load factor has also increased by 1 p.p. to 74%.
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