The staff of aircraft producer Antonov has urged Ukraine’s government to revoke the dismissal of Dmitry Kiva (see EXCLUSIVE in CargoForwarder Global of 15 April) and put him in office again with full rights and decision-making powers. The helmsman, who was controlling the capacity sales of the An-124 freighters, was fired two weeks ago due to assumed close links to Russian officials and aviation partners.
The decision of Antonov Design Bureau’s works council was unanimous and fully supported in a resolution by the members of the general meeting of the firm’s employees. “Step back from your decision and re-employ Mr Kiva in his role as Director of Antonov Design Bureau,” reads the declaration addressed to Kiev’s rulers by the staff.
The Antonov Group is one of Ukraine’s largest taxpayers
These are the employee’s main points picked from the Kiva supporting resolution:
- Under the leadership of President and General Designer D. S. Kiva Antonov leaped forward economically and technically. The entire management team, headed by Kiva, represented Antonov always successfully at the highest international industrial levels and increased the firm’s assets by maintaining high social standards at all times.
- Due to its commercial success Antonov has become one of the largest taxpayers in the Ukraine which should not be put at stake by governmental interferences in its established and successful management structures.
- As tensions between the Ukraine and Russia grow, any act aimed at undermining the stability of Antonov by firing any top executive would severely restrain the independence of the country’s military-industrial complex and thus subvert Ukraine’s position. Instead, it would help all those who oppose the unity of the state and aim at weakening its national economy.
The resolution concludes demanding from the government to cancel their decision filed on April 9 under the Order Number 340, which gave politicians free hand to oust Mr Kiva from office. “In these crucial times it is essential D. S. Kiva to remain head of the state-owned Antonov group,” reads the vote unanimously adopted by the general meeting of the Antonov staff.
Dr. Klichko steps in
Meanwhile, former world heavyweight champ Vladimir Klichko and leader of Ukraine’s UDAR Party has told Antonov employees during a visit of the plane maker’s facilities that his party is working on proposals for get the country’s ailing aviation and military-industrial complex on the feet again. Said Klichko: " the most painful factor for the Ukrainian industry is that our former partner Russia has turned into an aggressor.” “The cutting off traditional ties hurts our entire economy but most of all Antonov due to the enterprise’s very close links to Russian suppliers and maintenance providers,” he stated. “Antonov lost important market shares and a number of long-time project partners to drive joint Ukrainian-Russian aviation programs forward, as projected prior to the Crimea annexation, the politician regretted.
He ended his speech by saying that all decisions taken to rebuild the aviation sector together with the military-industrial complex depend directly on the existence of the Ukraine as an integral state. Once this has been secured “we must seek and offer basic solutions for solving the imminent risks Ukraine’s civil aviation is facing, in particular freighter and passenger aircraft programs.” Similarly the defense sector must be resurrected, Klichko told the gathered Antonov workforce.
Boeing issues stern warning
In the meantime, aircraft manufacturer Boeing has issued a warning in case the supply chain of aircraft components contributed by Russian or Ukrainian subcontractors should be disrupted. This aims predominantly at firms that supply aircraft parts made of titanium for Boeing’s Dreamliner series. “We are now watching the political and economic situation in both countries very closely for being able to fast react and take counter measures or seek alternatives should there be any disruptions of component flows happening,” the U.S. plane maker states