Ukraine’s SkyUp Airlines increases its scheduled flights offering by 55%

SkyUp With 215 seats, the newly delivered Boeing 737-900ER is the carrier’s most capacious aircraft (SkyUp)

SkyUp Airlines, the young Ukrainian hybrid-model carrier, has added a ninth narrow-body aircraft to its fleet and plans to take delivery of one more before the end of this year. Moving away from its primarily charter focus, the airline has been consistently growing its scheduled flights offerings, the share of which has now reached 55 per cent.

The Boeing 737-900ER, with tail number UR-SQI, arrived at SkyUp’s Kyiv Boryspil airport base on October 10. The 2008-built aircraft, on lease from GECAS, is currently the most capacious in the airline’s fleet, offering 215 seats in a single economy class configuration. As with all other Boeings operated by SkyUp, the latest addition is equipped with split scimitar winglets.

The Ukrainian carrier expects to add one more aircraft before the end of this year, bringing the fleet number to 10, slightly less than in its original plan. Two remaining aircraft, initially expected in 2019, are now scheduled for delivery in March of next year. The latest addition, a Boeing 737-900ER, is the first of the -900 series in the fleet, which also includes two 149-seat Boeing 737-700s and six 189-seat Boeing 737-800s.

In the first nine months of this year, SkyUp carried 1.2 million passengers. In September alone it transported 168,900 passengers on 1,029 flights, of which 564 flights were scheduled and 465 chartered (respectively a 54.8 to 45.2 per cent ratio).

SkyUp Airlines, which was founded by Yuriy and Tatiana Alba, the owners of Join Up, a sizeable Ukrainian travel agency, began operations as a charter airline in May 2018. Since that start, its traffic has reached 1.6 million passengers, as its business model clearly shifts to regular scheduled services.

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