Ukrainian YanAir introduces charters on Citation CJ1

This Cessna Citation CJ1 has been leased by YanAir for at least one year specifically for charter purposes This Cessna Citation CJ1 has been leased by YanAir for at least one year specifically for charter purposes (Photo by YanAir)

Ukrainian carrier YanAir is viewing business aviation market. In January the airline introduced a new service dubbed YanAir Connect, which offers charter flights aboard Cessna Citation CJ1 light jet. The airline management will assess, whether the service is commercially viable at the end of the year. Then they will consider further fleet expansion, the operator’s CCO Evgeny Pushenko told Russian Aviation Insider.

The new service is available to corporate clients and individuals.

The Cessna Citation CJ1 has been leased specifically for the purpose for the term of “at least one year”, and is based at Kyiv’s Zhulyany airport.

“The service is nothing new for the Ukrainian market. There are larger players that operate exclusively business aviation flights. This segment has its own demand, albeit quite limited. Our airline aims to offer a wide range of services, this time it’s business aviation and medium-haul private charters aboard this type of aircraft. This is a serious corporate-class aircraft, the service is aimed at a segment with high purchasing power,” Pushenko explained.

YanAir operates two Airbus А320s, an Airbus А321, a Boeing 737-400 and two Boeing 737-300s. It also has three Saab 340 turboprops in its fleet, which occasionally operate charter flights. However, speaking of the type Pushenko commented that the aircraft are “efficient for flights inside the region, but [airport] rates and fuel costs in Ukraine make them very low-margin.”

At the end of last summer season the airline carried some 36,000 passengers between Ukraine and Batumi and up to 25,000 passengers on flights to Tbilisi (both destinations are in Georgia) on scheduled flights alone. The carrier has not reported on its full year 2016 results. However, according to Ukraine’s State Aviation Service last year YanAir’s traffic increased 6.8 times compared to 2015. The operator is also one of the five Ukrainian airlines that catered for 91% of the international charter market last year.

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