Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has extended its 16-year working partnership with European Cargo Services (ECS), awarding a new GSA contract to provide sales representation for the airline across Europe and worldwide.
The exclusive contract with ECS—which operates 42 subsidiaries in 30 countries—gives UIA an opportunity to expand its cargo transportation network substantially and gain access to the worldwide market. The agreement will allow UIA to deliver cargo not only to countries with a direct connection to Ukraine but also to additional markets in Western Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.
“The contract for 2009 is a positive extension of our strategic cooperation with ECS geared toward providing our clients with a much wider operation that will further utilize our expanding scheduled network and also our Boeing 737-300SF freighter operations,” said Peter Kukharchuk, UIA’s Logistics and Cargo Director. “This contract considerably extends our capabilities to offer high quality cargo services to a wider range of clients.”
UIA was the first airline in the CIS to introduce Boeing 737 aircraft into its fleet and now operates 17 versions of the aircraft. The airline connects Ukraine with nearly 3,000 locations worldwide, operating some 350 scheduled flights a week to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Helsinki, Dubai, Tbilisi, Monastir, Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk, Uzhgorod , Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Simferopol.
Ukraine International has developed a profitable cargo business carrying cargo in the belly holds of its passenger aircraft. This business will continue to grow and will be supplemented by the Boeing 737-300SF freighter delivered to UIA in July of this year, said the airline. With a payload capacity of 20 tons, the airline considers the B737SF has already proven to be a sound investment with cargo tonnage increasing month on month.
Based on current demand for its cargo services, UIA is considering leasing a second Boeing 737-300SF freighter in 2009.