Ukraine International sees room for An-148s in fleet

Moscow
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Ukraine International Airlines has tentatively included the Antonov An-148 regional aircraft in its fleet development plan.

Speaking at a briefing in Kiev, chief executive Yuri Miroshnikov said the carrier was actively exploring a possibility of acquiring An-148s.

He explains: "We're looking at it from a long-term perspective. There's an excellent opportunity for deploying these aircraft on some of our routes."

The airline suggests using 70-seat An-148s for domestic and short-haul cross-border flights as well as on international services with relatively low cabin loads.

But Miroshnikov says the lack of an operating lease mechanism and crew training capabilities pose obstacles to purchasing An-148s at this point.

Ukraine International has 18 Boeing 737s, including two newly-received -800s. Two more 737-800s should arrive next year.

Earlier this year it became the country's largest airline, having surpassed AeroSvit in terms of fleet capacity and passenger traffic.