Ukraine’s SkyUp enjoys a buoyant first year of operations

SkyUp In its first year of operations the airline increased its staff numbers from 148 to 450, including 40 flight and 76 cabin crew members (SkyUp)

Ukrainian start-up airline SkyUp Airlines, which launched operations on May 21, 2018, transported 870,000 passengers on 4,963 flights in its first year in service. During this period the airline built up its fleet from a single to seven Boeing 737NGs and increased its staff numbers from 148 to 450, including 40 flight and 76 cabin crew members.

The airline was founded by Yuri and Tatyana Alba who are also the owners of Join Up!, one of the country’s major tour operators.

Securing its air operator’s certificate (AOC), launching operations, placing a firm order for Boeing 737 MAXs and obtaining approvals for operating flights to Europe, are among SkyUp’s key milestones in its first year.

The hybrid carrier, which started flights with just 10 charter destinations, has expanded its network to 31 scheduled services and 15 charter routes. The most popular routes from Kyiv are Tbilisi, Barcelona, Larnaca, Poprad and Sofia.

During the first 12 months of operations, SkyUp even managed to change its base airport, by transferring its Kyiv operations from Igor Sikorsky Airport (formerly Zhulyany) in Kyiv to Boryspil, and also opened a regional base at Kharkiv. The airline has also recently completed painting its entire fleet in its new corporate livery.

SkyUp currently operates a fleet of five B737-800s and two B737-700s. To meet further demand, the airline signed a firm order for two B737MAX-8s and three B737MAX-10s in March last year, which are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

According to revised plans the carrier is to operate 10 Boeing 737NG aircraft by the end of this year.

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