The new Ukrainian airline Air Ocean Airlines, which chose the Antonov-developed An-148 as the main aircraft, received an operator certificate and a license from the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine. These documents allow her to start commercial transportation of passengers. Avianews.com writes about the first routes of the air carrier, the model of its work, and development prospects.
Air Ocean Airlines has already received permits for the routes Kyiv-Amman, Chernivtsi-Istanbul, Chernivtsi-Kyiv, Kyiv-Lviv, Zaporizhzhia-Kyiv, Lviv-Kharkov, Lviv-Dnepr. These will be the first destinations of the air carrier.
This week, the airline plans to launch a full-fledged website and open ticket sales. The first commercial flight is scheduled for late November.
The airline will operate according to the classic model as a regional carrier with two service classes: economy and premium economy. The base airport will be Kyiv (Zhulyany). Also, planes can be based in regions, for example, Chernivtsi. According to the executive director, Air Ocean Airlines has abandoned the low-cost model because it is unsuitable for the selected An-148 aircraft.
First of all, the airline will fly on domestic flights, connecting cities with each other not only through Kiev. The airline sees the economy in domestic flights due to the fact that the selected aircraft is small and easier to fill compared to the 189-seat Boeing 737-800.
The average ticket price on a domestic flight will be UAH 1,500 one way. However, there will also be promotional rates.
In the development of the international network, the air carrier wants to rely on flights from small regional airports, where there is not a large supply. An-148 allows flights from most regional airports in Ukraine. The airline claims that these airliners have a good economy for 2-2.5 hour flights.
Air Ocean Airlines already has an agreement with the Cypriot company CYPRUS AIRCRAFT LEASING 2 (CAL) Ltd on the lease of six An-148 aircraft. Two aircraft from 2011 and 2012 have already arrived in Ukraine and received local registration.
The third An-148 will arrive before the end of the year, the fourth – at the beginning of 2022, the fifth and sixth boards – for the start of summer navigation, which will begin at the end of March 2022.
The first three An-148s have a 75-seat layout. The remaining three airliners will accommodate 82-83 seats. All planes will arrive and be repainted in the livery, like the first two boards. Ukrainian pilots will fly on An-148.
The new air carrier is also considering receiving new An-148 and An-158 aircraft, which Antonov now has in a partially assembled form.