Today, 30 years ago, the company “International Airlines of Ukraine” was founded.

Considering the situation in Ukraine caused by the so-called Russian “special operation”, International airlines of Ukraine (UIA) has suspended all flights until at least November 21. Looking at the overall picture and the current situation on the ground, it is difficult to imagine that the national air carrier of Ukraine will resume regular flights in the near future.

Having said that, today we take a look at the airline based at Boryspil International Airport (KBP) and see how it came to be and how it has evolved over the past 30 years.

UIA was established after the collapse of the Soviet Union

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991, the airline “Ukraine” was actually Aeroflot puppet in charge of flights to and from Kyiv. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the planes that were on the ground in the countries where they were located became the property of the newly formed states.


At the beginning of next year, the Minister of Aviation of Ukraine agreed to lease two Boeing 737-400s and perform international flights from the Ukrainian capital. In close cooperation with former Ukraine Airlines staff, it was decided that the country’s new airline should operate using international standards of safety, reliability and service.

On November 25, 1992, the first flight of “International Airlines of Ukraine” took place between Kyiv and London, and soon after that, flights were made to Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Amsterdam.

Cargo operations began in November 1994 with the airline “International Airlines of Ukraine” on Boeing 737-200 aircraft between Kiev, London and Amsterdam. In a bid to capitalize on a promising new airline, Austrian Airlines and Swissair have partnered after investing nine million dollars. Then in 2000, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invested $5.4 million.

The airline grew rapidly

By 2013, the number of passengers of Ukraine International Airlines had increased by 60%, as the airline planned to carry 4,400,000 passengers a year. In the same year, Ukraine International Airlines began flying new routes to Baku, Yerevan, Larnaca, Munich, Warsaw, Prague, Athens and several destinations in Russia, including flights to Sheremetyevo – A.S. Pushkin International Airport. (SVO) and Kaliningrad.

On April 25, 2014, Ukraine International Airlines launched the first long-haul flights between Boryspil International Airport (KBP) and John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York.

After Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in February and March 2014, Ukraine International Airlines suspended all flights between Ukraine and Russia. As part of a move designed to take the airline to a higher level in 2018, Ukraine International Airlines has announced a fleet upgrade and replacement of many of its classic Boeing 737s.

Now all UIA flights are suspended

After a massive military build-up and denial that Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with the goal of regime change. Since Ukraine is now effectively at war with Russia, the Ukrainian government has closed the country’s airspace to all traffic.

Initially, International Airlines of Ukraine assumed that the situation would be temporary. However, seven months later, the war is still ongoing, with no end in sight.

According to the website of aviation statistics and data h-aviationCurrently, the fleet of “International Airlines of Ukraine” consists of the following 25 aircraft:

  • 10 X Boeing 737-800s
  • 3 x Boeing 737-900ER
  • 4 x Boeing 767-300ER
  • 1 x drilling rig 777-200Er
  • 3 x Embraer ERJ 190-100LRs
  • 2 X Embraer ERJ 190-100STDs
  • 1 x Embraer ERJ 190-200AR
  • 1 x Embraer ERJ 190-200LR

https://simpleflying.com/ukraine-international-airlines-30-years-since-foundation/ Today, 30 years ago, the company “International Airlines of Ukraine” was founded.

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