Ukraine International Airlines is to put 14 aircraft into operation once it starts restoring services, as it expects government restrictions to lift on 15 June.

But chief executive Yevhenii Dykhne says it has “stopped employing” around 900 personnel following a “substantial decline” in the airline’s operations.

“We aim at sustaining the business and key staff, especially cockpit crew,” he adds.

UIA has been forced to halt passenger services since 17 March, after a prohibition by Ukrainian authorities.

But the airline says it plans to reinstate a fleet of 14 aircraft, gradually doubling this to 28.

It says that, over the period to April 2021, it will build up its domestic and medium-haul operations – those demonstrating the capability of supporting significant loads – on a point-to-point basis, without the need for transit feed.

UIA 767

Source: Ukraine International Airlines

UIA’s long-haul fleet includes Boeing 767-300ERs

UIA indicates it will only restore long-haul services, with an initial “minimal” network, next year, once the traffic outlook improves.

“Long-haul operations may be resumed after critical feeding flights are re-introduced to the schedule – in or about April 2021,” it says.

UIA has a fleet of Boeing 777-200ERs and 767-300ERs for long-haul services.

Its medium-haul and regional fleet comprises a range of Boeing 737 variants as well as Embraer 190s and 195s.

UIA had transported 986,000 passengers by the time of its suspension, but expects its overall passenger numbers this year will reach only 1.9 million – a fall of 46%.

It states that it is to cut back business-class capacity and make a number of other booking and fare changes to assist its post-crisis recovery.