UIA is flying non-stops between Delhi and Kyiv five times a week, with an eye on tapping the outbound to Europe and beyond.
With an eye on tapping the Indian outbound flying to eastern Europe and beyond, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) kicked off its first flight connecting the two capitals, Kyiv and New Delhi recently.
Igor Polikha, Ambassador of Ukraine to India, called it a “historic occasion” for bilateral relations between the two countries, suggesting that the development would boost political, cultural and tourism ties. He added that it was a” truly unique event”, stressing that India and Ukraine had long enjoyed healthy bilateral relations and better connectivity was a step further in that direction. The top envoy added that there had been a significant rise in the number of Indian students seeking higher education and the trend was “on the rise, expressing hope that tourism numbers would head north, and more Indians would take to the eastern European nation after the launch of direct flights. He noted that Kyiv was a hub to connect with over 40 countries via UIA’s extensive network in the USA and Europe.
The newly launched connection will initially offer flights five times a week, with “plans to have daily flights”, Sergey Fomenko, Executive VP Commerce, UIA said. He shared that the Ukrainian flag-carrier will operate Boeing 767-300 on the route and will target to fill 80,000 seats this year. “In a year and half, we plan to phase out our Boeing 767-300 and operate Boeing 777s,” he shared, adding that UIA had acquired Boeing 767s on lease and is being operated for long-haul flights since the past five years.
Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Group asserted that UIA was perfectly poised to cater to Indians flying to the entire European region, and Ukraine was a “wonderfully kept secret” waiting to be explored. He reasoned that Ukraine was strategically located in the middle of Europe and could be used a hub to travel to distant corners of Europe and the USA. “Ukraine also offers excellent investment opportunity for Indian businesses and provides a very cost-effective setup,” he said, indicating that MICE segment was an important element of travel between the two countries. He also suggested that UIA’s network was expected to add weight to Delhi’s standing as an aviation hub, and “would bring international tourists into India” from numerous destinations serviced by the Ukrainian carrier.