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22 November, 2018

Ryanair beefs up Ukrainian network with five more routes

Ryanair will add flights to Ukraine’s capital Kiev from another five cities in its summer 2019 schedule

Ryanair will add flights to Ukraine’s capital Kiev from another five cities in its summer 2019 schedule, bringing the total number of routes it operates to the eastern European country to 22.

The low-cost carrier will open connections to Kiev from Dublin, Sofia, Paphos, Manchester and Athens in April.

It already flies to the capital from Barcelona, Berlin, Bratislava, Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Krakow, London, Poznan, Stockholm, Vilnius, Warsaw and Wroclaw – as well as connecting the western city of Lviv with Dusseldorf, Krakow, London, Memmingen and Warsaw.

Ryanair entered the Ukrainian market for the first time in September, having postponed last year’s planned launch following a protracted dispute with Kiev Boryspil Airport.

After its initial attempt failed, Ryanair accused Boryspil of conspiring with Ukraine International Airlines (U.I.A.), the country’s flag-carrier, in a bid to suppress low-cost competition in the local aviation sector. It won the backing of Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, who brokered a new deal after convincing the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, to intervene.

Ryanair’s ultra-low fares – starting at just €5 on its latest routes – are helping to transform a neglected market in which barely 5% of the population travels by air. But the macroeconomic benefits come at a price of reduced profitability for market leader U.I.A.

The flag-carrier denies seeking to block competition.

Other low-cost carriers are also now making hay in Ukraine. Hungary’s Wizz Air connects three Ukrainian cities with 36 routes to Europe, making it the country's largest budget carrier.


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