Ukraine International Airlines Cuts Capacity As 737 MAX 8s Are Deferred
In this comprehensive interview, Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) longstanding CEO Yuri Miroshnikov discusses the impact of the 737 MAX grounding, intensifying LCC competition in Ukraine, the decision to take a break from expansion and its future fleet plan. UIA was initially planning flat capacity for 2019 as part of a decision to stabilise its operation after four years of rapid expansion. The airline now expects a 5% to 6% decline in capacity this year due to the deferral of three 737 MAX 8s, which were initially slated to be delivered in 2Q2019. The 737 MAX 8s are a critical component of an ongoing fleet renewal initiative which includes the phase out of 737 Classics in Nov-2018 and the phase out of 767s this winter. UIA also recently added two E195s which are being used mainly to regional airports that were able to handle 737 Classics but cannot accommodate 737-800s or 737 MAX 8s.