Ukraine International Goes Through a Period of Sweat and Tears

Since Russia’s Crimea annexation and the separatist militia’s fight to establish their own regime in the eastern parts of the Ukraine, carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UAI) has been cut off from parts of its former home market. However, despite the adverse circumstances the airline continues to enjoy thriving air freight transports, reports their GSA.

The backbone of Ukraine International’s fleet are Boeing 737 aircraft
The backbone of Ukraine International’s fleet are Boeing 737 aircraft

Jens Strenger is puzzled. “We see a steady flow of shipments without any disruption bound to Kiev and beyond, carried in the holds of the Boeing 737s of our mandate airline Ukraine International.” The Dusseldorf-based Head of Sales for Western and Eastern Germany at ECS Group member Globe Air Cargo should know better than others how the airline’s freight biz runs since he’s got all data. “They commenced serving the route Dusseldorf-Kiev at the beginning of June, offering six rotations per week, and I can say that we at Globe are genuinely surprised by the large number of shipments we are able to acquire for filling their holds.”


See also report "Russia Opposes EU Demanded Cargo Validation"  /  "Ukrainian Aviation Searching for New Markets".

Additional capacity offer to and from DUS
UIA is by far not the biggest fish in handling agent Dusseldorf Airport Cargo’s net but a welcomed client that ensures new biz. “We are happy that Ukraine International Airlines started its direct service between Dusseldorf and Kiev and of course we are proud that Ukraine International decided to be handled by Dusseldorf Airport Cargo,” reads a statement of the ground handler. Despite the fact that the capacity per flight is limited, it is a valuable additional uplift offer for the Dusseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia market. “That is not only because of the destination Kiev, but also because of the onwards connections throughout the UIA network,” notes Thomas Schuermann, DUS Airport Cargo’s Head of Sales. 
High loads as reported by Globe’s manager Strenger – that’s indeed an amazing situation since one would suspect that shippers and their forwarding agents would be hesitant to have their goods flown on board an airline that is based in a country which is hard hit by a civil war.
Touching this aspect Jens delivers the broad picture. “Transports to Kiev and Lvov run very well in contrast to those that are supposed to go to Donetsk or other sites at Ukraine’s eastern areas of conflict.” Therefore, GSA Globe has stopped the acceptance of goods that are destined to final consignees in Donetsk, Kharkov or Lugansk due to the incalculable and unpredictable military situation there. 
It’s a precautionary measure. “This is because we are unable to guarantee our clients that their shipments will arrive at these destinations safe and sound despite the fact that flights to Donetsk are officially still offered by the airline.” So are services to and from Kharkov, demonstrated by scheduled flights from the embattled city to Batumi in Georgia that commenced 22 June.

Jens Strenger of GSA Globe Air Cargo
Jens Strenger of GSA Globe Air Cargo

Thriving beyond shipments
This does not account any longer for Ukraine International operations to the Russia occupied Crimea peninsula.  All flights the carrier had formerly conducted have been scrapped from the itinerary since the occupation was started by the Russian army.  “Sevastopol has been scrapped from their route map,” confirms Herr Strenger.
At the same time he stresses that beyond shipments flown by Air Ukraine International via Kiev are thriving. This accounts for destinations like Baku in Azerbaijan, Georgia’s capital Tbilisi or Erivan in Armenia just to mention three cities that are part of Ukraine International’s flight schedule. Jens stresses that the flourishing beyond business enabled by his mandate airline does not only apply to the Dusseldorf flights but to UIA airlifts at Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin as well. 
This lower deck capacity offered the market by Ukraine Int’l is complemented by five weekly flights of a Boeing 737 freighter operated between Liege in Belgium and Kiev. Final word from Globe Air Cargo’s Jens Strenger: “Every time we at Globe have acquired larger volumes that do not fit into the holds of UIA’s passenger aircraft, we make use of their Liege freighter service.”

Heiner Siegmund

DUS Cargo presents new homepage just went online. The new website of the airport’s cargo division still offers the familiar contacts, forms and information, but provides also innovations, extensions and optimizations. According to the Airport, will take an even more important role for communication of Dusseldorf Airport Cargo in future. This enables easy access and fast news gathering, reads an airport release. HS

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