Ukraine’s flag carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is set to launch flights from Kiev, the country’s capital to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
The largest airline in Ukraine was assigned with the right to fly on the Kyiv-Addis Ababa route in January this year, the Ukrainian Air Transport Association (UATA) reported.
The announcement did not reveal when the capital to capital flights will commence as the negotiation to fly to Ethiopia are not yet completed.
However, according to the Ukrainian News Agency, UIA’s President Yurii Myroshnykov revealed at a press conference that, “Ethiopia is not [priority of] the year 2019.
Most likely, in 2020, but I’m not sure. Unfortunately, today Africa is a kind of terra incognita for all of us. I talked to experts, and they emphasised that Ukraine had a very limited number of the embassies in Africa, and African countries are practically not represented here [in Ukraine], there is a very vague and complicated procedure for obtaining visas… Actually, there is no demand, if not to talk about Cairo, Tunisia and Morocco, which are more or less known, as well as Egypt.”
Commenting on why the air carrier chose Ethiopia as its next destination, he said, ” the geographical position of Ethiopia… makes the transit to Europe and to the West through Ukraine more or less logical, which cannot be said about Morocco, Algeria.”
The airline operates more than 1,100 regular flights a week and connects Ukraine with more than 50 cities and key points in Europe, Asia, America, Africa, the Middle East and the CIS countries.
The company boasts a fleet size of 41, with over 88 destinations. In its Ukraine – Ethiopia flight launch, the national airline will collaborate with Africa’s biggest airline and Ethiopia’s flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines to bring the business opportunity to succeed.
“There is the Ethiopian Airlines, which is relatively powerful, respectable, and we have already started negotiations on cooperation with it. There will be meetings and talks in the coming months. We are preparing this flight,” the UIA’s president said.