Ukraine's construction and industrial group DCH is preparing to launch an in-house carrier equipped with western-built mainline aircraft.
The state aviation agency says it received the application for an air operator's certificate from DCH-owned Kharkov Airlines in January.
A source familiar with the matter suggests that the startup is considering leasing a pair of Boeing 737s or 767s to provide cross-border charter services from the country's second largest city, Kharkov.
Under a 49-year lease agreement with the municipality, DCH operates Kharkov International airport through the affiliate management company New Systems AM.
Since 2008, the group's founder and owner Alexander Yaroslavsky has invested $107 million in the landside development while the government has put $191 million in the construction of a 2.5km (1.55 mile) runway.
Last year, the airport's throughput increase to 500,000 from 308.000 passengers - largely on the back of the European football championship co-hosted by Kharkov. Plans for 2013 envisage a further 20% increase in traffic as low-cost carriers Pegasus and FlyDubai open services to the city.
But Yaroslavsky believes there is also a business case for a locally-based airline. "It's my native city with a substantial growth potential," he says. "We don't want to miss this opportunity."