History: The airline was established on 1 October 1992, and started operations on 25 November 1992 with a Kiev-London flight. It was one of the first "joint ventures with foreign capital" in Ukraine and the first airline in the former Soviet Union to use new Boeing 737-400 aircraft. The founding shareholders were the Ukrainian Association of Civil Aviation and Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA), an Irish aircraft-leasing company. In 1996, Austrian Airlines and Swissair became shareholders,
The airline began cargo operations with a Boeing 737-200 aircraft on 13 November 1994 to London and Amsterdam, and today operates a Boeing 737-300F as a dedicated aircraft for freight operations.
In 2000, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development became a shareholder. In 2006 UIA adopted a new classification system for freight operations, which allowed the airline to carry a wider range of goods, ranging from live animals to fresh food and valuable objects.
In February 2011, the Ukrainian government sold its 61,6% stake in UIA to three existing minority shareholders for 287 million UAH ($36.2 million).
In the first half of 2013, the airline's traffic rose by 60% to 2,200,000 passengers. On 25 April 2014, UIA began non-stop flights from Kiev to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. In 2013, due to the demise of competitor Aerosvit, UIA launched new flights from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cyprus, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Greece, Georgia, Yekaterinburg and Kyrgyzstan.
In October 2015 UIA was banned by Russian government from flying to Russian destinations as a response to a ban by Ukrainian government of Russian airlines from flying into Ukraine. Like lowcost-carriers UIA doesn't offer free catering on board excepting a free glass of water. However, passengers may order prepaid meals. As of 22 June 2016, the ownership structure is registered as the following: 74.1627% Capital Investment Project, Ukraine and 15.9108% Ontobet Promotions Ltd, Cyprus.
Operations: Ukrainian Airlines operates from two main international bases, Kiev the capital, plus Liev the second biggest city. However to connect to most domestic and international destinations, Kiev has the best links. Specially for the long haul market which is only served from Kiev. Domestically it flies to 8 destinations. As a curiosity, it's interesting to note that Ukrainian Airlines doesn't fly to any Russian destinations, despite the proximity. This is due to the conflict of interests between the two nations.
European destinations served by the airline are, Minsk, Vilnius, Helsinki, Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, Prague,Budapest, Chisinau, Tbilisi, Ye verán, Kutaisi, Ankara, Lanarca, Amman, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, Paris, Nice, Zurich, Geneva, Milan, Venice, Bergamo, Bologna and Rome.
Additionally destinations are Dubai, Tehran, Aktau, Almalty and Astana. Long haul flights are limited just to a few destinations, including Colombo, Bangkok, Beijing and New York.
Fleet:The airline has made great improvements to its fleet in the last decade to phase out old Soviet era planes in place of new western types. Currently it operates an all Boeing fleet and Embraer jets for regional and domestic flights.
It's regional and and short haul routes are operated by Boeing 737-300/500/800/900 series aircraft in addition to Embraer E190 jets. The long haul market is operated by Boeing 767-300.
|Competitive fares and times||Not integrated in any global alliance. (only individual agreement with Austrian Airlines)|
|Best airline for visiting Ukraine||Little presence in Western Europe.|
|Easy transfer and connections at Kiev International Airport.||Limited long haul flights to selected destinations.|
|Professional service and service minded crew.||Food and drink on-board only for purchase on short/medium routes (except water)|
|Luggage included in fares|
|Free online check-in and seat selection 48h before departure.|
|Partnership with Austrian Airlines for Millage redemption.|
|New Aircraft entering the fleet, Boeing 737-800/900.|