Ukraine re-distributes former AeroSvit routes

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Ukrainian authorities have handed out flying rights for 35 cross-border routes to second tier airlines following the demise of national flag carrier AeroSvit.

Wizz Air Ukraine will operate on eight former AeroSvit routes from Kiev, Donetsk and Kharkov using four Airbus A320 - including its most recently delivered, sharklet-equipped unit.

Crimea-based startup Air Onix has gained the rights to serve nine cities from Simferopol and six from Kiev, leading to speculation that it may be looking to expand its fleet beyond three Boeing 737-300/500s.

UTair Ukraine intends to provide a dozen air links from four domestic cities, with an emphasis on Baltic destinations including Riga, Tallinn, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

However, the state aviation administration has reserved premier scheduled routes to London, Paris and Tel Aviv - as well as to Baku and Yerevan - solely for the country's largest carrier, Ukraine International Airways (UIA).

The agency's first deputy head, Alexander Grechko, says other carriers were hoping to enter those markets, but he added: "We shouldn't let them in on the services that UIA has developed for years."