Europe’s largest airline are considering building their own aircraft maintenance infrastructure in Ukraine which includes an aircraft maintenance workshop.
The long-term investment will coast around $500 million, Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary has announced.
O’Leary said during an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, “We are looking over the longer term as to whether we could build up our own aircraft maintenance hangars here and do heavy maintenance for aircrafts, as well as doing engine maintenance.”
He said the first stage will see the resumption of flights which will see a6 or 17 aircraft deployed across three airports in Ukraine.
He added, “We have plans to base aircraft, pilots, cabin crew engineers, spares in Boryspil, Lviv and in Odesa within 12 months.
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“We could have 10 aircraft in Kyiv maybe five aircraft in Lviv and maybe one or two aircraft in Odesa. And that would double that we would grow that then over the next 2-3-4 years as the traffic builds up,” the company’s head said.
Ryanair are exploring the possibility of building their own engine maintenance workshop on the territory of Ukraine.
O’Leary said, “We’re looking at building our own engine maintenance shop, which is a $500-million investment.
“We certainly will put one in Europe, and I think Ukraine would be a very interesting location for something like that. Ukraine has a highly-skilled population. I think Ukraine will become a member of the European Union rather quickly.”
With eight weeks of Ukraine opening their airspace they are also planning to deploy up to 30 Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Odesa, Lviv and Kyiv at a cost of more than $3 billion.
O’Leary said, “Ryanair was Ukraine’s second largest airline before the unlawful Russian invasion in February 2022.
“Once the skies over Ukraine have reopened for commercial aviation, Ryanair will charge back into Ukraine linking the main Ukraine airports with over 20 EU capitals, and we are working closely with the Ukrainian government to rebuild Ukraine’s aviation, industry and its economy.
“Ryanair has committed to returning with low fare flights to/from Ukraine within 8 weeks of the reopening of Ukraine air space.
“This will see 600 weekly flights being operated by Ryanair aircraft from the main airports of Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, connecting these cities to over 20 EU capitals. In addition, Ryanair plans to open daily domestic flights between Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa, as soon as those airports are able to handle them.
“Having previously also served Kharkiv and Kherson airports prior to the invasion, Ryanair will return to serving those airports too, as soon as the infrastructure has been restored. Ryanair remains committed to rebuilding and investing in Ukraine.
“Ryanair plans in the first 12 months post war to offer over 5 million seats to/from and within Ukraine, and this will build to over 10 million seats over a 5 year period.
“We currently employ hundreds of Ukrainian pilots, cabin crew and IT professionals, and we will look to creating thousands of new jobs in aviation for Ukrainian citizens when Ukraine skies reopen. Ukraine is a country of 40 million people, many of whom have been dispersed across Europe over the past year.”