Ryanair is already looking to the post-conflict between Russia and Ukraine and is betting on a market of 40 million potential passengers.
With his usual farsightedness and ahead of the whole sector, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary went to Kyiv to meet the Deputy Prime Minister for the Restoration of Ukraine and Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, as well as the representatives of the main Ukrainian airports (Kiev, Lviv, and Odesa).
The target? Making concrete the announcement made a few months ago on low-cost investments in the country.
“Ryanair remains a committed partner in reconstruction and investment in Ukrainian aviation.”
“Today we have seen that under the most difficult conditions of the war, the Boryspil airport team demonstrates its professionalism and is fully ready to resume flights as soon as possible,” said O’Leary.
“Indeed, the airline has pledged to fly back to Ukraine within 8 weeks of the reopening of Ukrainian airspace. In this way, 2 Ryanair aircraft will operate 600 weekly flights from the main airports of Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa, connecting these cities to over 20 EU capitals. In addition, Ryanair plans to open daily domestic flights between Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa as soon as the airports are able to handle them.”
But that’s not all, Ryanair plans to offer, in the first 12 months after the end of the war, over 5 million seat capacity to, from, and within Ukraine, growing to over 10 million over 5 years, basing up to 30 new Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
“Ryanair was Ukraine’s second largest airline before the illegitimate Russian invasion in February 2022,” O’Leary said, adding:
“The fastest way to rebuild and restore the Ukrainian economy will be low-fare air travel.”
“Ryanair intends to invest heavily in Ukraine and lead the aviation recovery by investing up to $3 billion, basing up to 30 new aircraft at 3 major Ukrainian airports of Kyiv, Lviv, and Odes
sa. Having already served Kharkiv and Kherson airports before the invasion, Ryanair will return to serve these airports as soon as the infrastructure is restored,” the Irish manager recalled.
Finally, according to O’Leary: “Ukraine is a country of 40 million people, many of whom have been dispersed in Europe in the last year. We look forward to reuniting these families with Ryanair’s low fare connections to major Ukrainian airports as soon as it is safe to do so. Ryanair’s low-fare connections will be key to the reconstruction and recovery of the Ukrainian economy.”