Ukrainian flag carrier AeroSvit has concluded a package of agreements with Swedish regional operator Skyways to fuel passenger traffic into its growing route system.

Under the codeshare pact, AeroSvit is to operate 10 weekly flights from Kiev to Stockholm and Copenhagen, with Skyways acting as a marketing agent for these services.

They have also signed a special pro-rate agreement and an interline deal covering 11 destinations served by Skyways in Scandinavian countries.

Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky is reported to be behind both AeroSvit and Cyprus-based Manswell Enterprises, which acquired Skyways in December 2010.

AeroSvit expects the arrangement to help increase its passenger traffic to and from the region by 50% in 2011 as it opens new routes from Kiev.

In 2011, the carrier has added seven cities to its network in Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan. In July it plans to launch flights to Samarkand and in the autumn to Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong.

To increase capacity, AeroSvit has taken leases on two additional 118-seat Boeing 737-500s fitted with winglets.

The airline says it is pursuing a twofold strategy of broadening its geographical reach and providing well-timed connections at its Kiev Borispol base.

In the first five months of 2011, AeroSvit's connecting passengers at Borispol accounted for 45% of its overall traffic, up 10% year-over-year.

Following further improvements in airport technologies, the carrier expects the figure to reach half of passenger throughput at the hub in 2011.

Since the launch of Kiev-Novosibirsk services in April, 77% of travellers on the route have taken AeroSvit's connecting flights.

The figure for Budapest, Hamburg, St Petersburg and Vilnius flights was 70%, and for those to Bangkok, New York, Toronto, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Athens and Prague it was around 60%.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news