Dniproavia owners plan new Ukrainian aviation firm

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Ukrainian carrier Dniproavia has ceased operations ahead of the planned launch of a new air enterprise by its owners.

Earlier this month, Dniproavia stopped selling tickets for domestic and international passenger flights operated by AeroSvit under a codeshare agreement.

The two carriers, along with Donbassaero, collaborated within the framework of the Ukrainian Aviation Group alliance.

In a public notice on 8 January, Dniproavia, which is owned by Ukraine's PrivatBank - and at one point had up to 20 Embraer ERJ-145s - did not provide reasons for winding up the business.

But it has now emerged that two weeks prior to the announcement a new company, Aviadnipro, was registered in Dnipropetrovsk.

The entry in the state register of legal entities shows that its general director is former Dniproavia board chairman Sergei Tkachenko.

He says Aviadnipro has only started licensing procedures, adding: "Obtaining all permissions may take up to six months. It is too early to talk about our future fleet."

Aviadnipro plans to operate from Dnepropetrovsk airport and work in market segments untapped by Dniproavia. Along with freight services and ad hoc charter flights, these could also include airframe heavy maintenance.

"There is a hangar capable of accomodating a widebody aircraft. I don't rule out that we'll use it," says Tkachenko.

He declined to identify Aviadnipro's founders, but local sources say they are affiliated with PrivatBank. That financial institution is controlled by tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who also has controlling interests in AeroSvit and Donbassaero.