Ukrainian airline switches to cargo to weather COVID crisis

Some positive news for a change.

Reuters : May 27, 2020

Sergiy Karazy

KIEV, May 27 (Reuters) – For the pilots, the customer smiles are sadly lacking, but Ukrainian low-cost airline SkyUp says it is finding strength in a crisis after converting most of its planes to carry cargo to keep its fleet in the skies. 

Eight of its eleven orange-and-white 737-800 and 900 Boeing planes have had seats removed and nets placed in between the remaining rows to carry freight. Some smaller items are squeezed in the overhead hand luggage compartments. 

The privately-owned airline, which launched two years ago, delivered its first cargo shipment in April when it brought medical supplies to Ukraine from China. 

It has since done around 250 cargo flights and won contracts in countries such as Britain, France and Germany. 

The impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the airline industry has prompted several carriers to seek state aid.

But SkyUp says it has kept most of its staff, who work either from home or in the office to handle the cargo operations. 

“This virus gave us new strength and pushed us to look for new areas in business,” SkyUp Director General Yevhen Khainatsky told Reuters. 

“Being a passenger airline, we never dreamt of doing cargo shipments. The crisis forced us to do it. That is why during crisis times, our airline is adapting and we are quickly shifting from one business to another.” 

For pilot Oleh Popovych, carrying freight has some advantages: he does not have to take slightly longer routes to circumvent turbulence or thunderstorms that make passengers uncomfortable. But he looks forward to having passengers back.

“I would like to see people smiling, I would like to meet them,” he told Reuters from the cockpit of his plane. 

“You know, sometimes a mother stops me while I am walking across the airport and asks if she can take a photograph of her kid with me.”

(Writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Barbara Lewis)

One comment

  1. A fine example of entrepreneurial spirit and resilience!
    In other news, according to leftist site Mother Jones, Ukraine-hating, putler-worshipping rat Giuliani ‘and two associates—a Republican fundraiser and a California cannabis entrepreneur—have been trying to round up $10 million to finance the production of a Biden-Ukraine documentary that can be released this year. Documents obtained by Mother Jones indicate that Giuliani and his collaborators are recruiting investors at $1 million a pop and that they have considered the possibility of drawing in investors from overseas—though Giuliani’s lawyer denies there has been any effort to bring in foreign money. Any overseas investment in the project would raise the question of whether Giuliani, who has been looking for information from past and present Ukrainian officials for his anti-Biden work, is attempting to orchestrate foreign involvement in the current presidential election.’
    This shit will hurt Ukraine more than it will hurt creepy Joe the hair-sniffer. You can be sure that the ‘investors’ will include putinazis.

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