On Friday, November 25, 2016, Ukraine International Airlines mark the 24th anniversary. UIA has had a long and quite challenging way from a young airline with just two aircraft to Ukraine`s leading carrier not only promoting Ukraine worldwide but also maintaining transit operations between the West and the East, the North and the South.
Founded back in 1992 as an international carrier of independent Ukraine, Ukraine International was provided with a wide range of business opportunities, funding, and management expertise of its international partners. Organizational model of a public-private entity let UIA take advantage of the strengths of all shareholders. Establishing non-stop operations between Ukraine and Western Europe allowed the airline to operate successfully as a point-to-point carrier and turn into one of the top Ukraine`s aviation market players by its 18th anniversary in 2009.
Dramatic changes in the airline and Ukraine`s aviation sector started in the second decade of the new century. Amid challenging operating environment and intense price-based competition, further development required the revision of UIA business strategy. The latter coincided with the change of the company’s ownership in 2010. Privatization guaranteed the UIA business flexibility and allowed transformation into a network carrier, but the transition process turned out to be much more turbulent that it had been planned initially. In 2013, just for the twelve-month period, UIA had a great leap forward: doubled fleet, expanded flight geography, and enhanced team.
2014 brought a new challenge – to stabilize business in the age of profound political and economic crisis, devaluation of national currency, and dramatic decline in effective demand. For the first time ever, UIA had to take drastic contingency measures and optimize its staff, fleet, and route network. To sustain the business, UIA modified its operating model and started lowering fares by excluding additional services from the ticket price, thus turning into the world`s first network low-fare carrier.
In 2016, UIA leased nine aircraft, launched several routes from the capital and the cities of Ukraine, introduced the new onboard menu, and updated a number of web services. However, the 2016 landmark is the cut over to Amadeus Altea Passenger Service System, which enables UIA to offer passengers a vast selection of additional services.
By 2021, UIA plans to enhance and renew fleet, expand eastern and south-eastern networks, increase frequencies of westbound flights, and develop transit potential of Kyiv Boryspil International airport and regional hubs in the cities of Ukraine.
“Since 1992 over 35 million travelers from Ukraine, Europe, Asia, the US, and the CIS countries have made UIA their preferred carrier, – noted Evgeniya Satska, UIA Corporate Press Secretary. – In 2016, we hit as high as nearly 6 million clients carried, while in 2017 we expect to outperform and reach an impressive number of 7 million passengers. On behalf of the UIA team let me thank all our clients for their continued support and credit. UIA is really taking off by actively boosting operations and growing its business”.