This morning, on January 8, the crash that occurred with the Boeing 737 liner, the Ukrainian UIA Airlines, took with it the lives of 167 passengers and 9 crew members. According to preliminary information of the Embassy of Ukraine in Israel, the tragedy happened as a result of an engine accident, this was the first serious incident in the history of the company. But if you look at the reviews of users on the network, it becomes clear that UIA has long had a "bad" reputation among passengers. OneNews has conducted an analysis of the activities of the Ukrainian airline and is ready to share the result with you.
Ever since the beginning of last year, the largest Ukrainian air carrier, one of the assets of oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, began to go bankrupt, it was noticeable by reducing the expenses for the company: salaries were reduced to employees, reduced accrual of miles, luggage weight was reduced to 7 kg, canceled. , introduced an airport check-in fee and reduced the number of flights.
Due to the decrease in funding, service dropped significantly, on the portal of the First Independent Review Site of Ukraine 64.4% of voters consider the UIA job appalling, and only 21.4% are happy with everything. At the moment, the most important question remains whether such total cost savings have affected the liner maintenance.
In an interview with RBC-Ukraine, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladislav Krikliy said that UIA is a debtor and if the issue is not resolved, the company will become bankrupt.
It is a question of debts to "UkSATSE", and it is about half a billion hryvnias. This amount must be paid for the air navigation services already provided. But she is in no hurry to pay the debt, disputing it in the courts, as an argument - too high prices of "UkSATSE". In addition, as of September 2018, there was a debt to the Boryspil airport for the amount of 300 million hryvnias, and the volume of obligations on loans and promissory notes in the end of 2018 reached 950 million hryvnias.
Igor Kolomoisky himself, earlier commenting on the situation to Schemes, stated: “I do not run the UIA company. If there are debts, so it acts in accordance with its contracts and arrangements, So there is no money. "
But in addition to the debts of Ukraine International Airlines, they also incurred significant losses. According to estimates over the last ten years (2010–2019), UIA proved to be profitable for only three years (2012, 2013 and 2016), and the rest of the time it received losses; $ 100 million).
In early 2019, in an interview with Liga.net, former UIA President Yuri Miroshnnikov said that the main reasons for the carrier's financial losses in 2018 were a sharp jump in the cost of aviation fuel (about 30% in the company's cost structure), high costs for upgrading fleets and inflated rates for navigation at Ukrainian airports, which remain unchanged since 2010. Among the reasons also added pre-expeditions related to the need to fly over the territories of Russia.
Being in a situation that is not at a disadvantage for itself, the company could think of nationalization, and during the October press-marathon of President Vladimir Zelensky, the journalists raised the issue.
“To be honest, we can safely nationalize our major airline. And I know that the owners will only be happy not to pay their debts. But we will not give them such happiness until now, ”the head of state replied then.
Soon, the UIA chief for 15 years, Yuri Miroshnikov, resigned and was replaced by Evgeny Dikhne, the former top manager of Boryspil Airport. In his first interview with UNIAN news agency, he said that as a result of 2019, the UIA expects a loss of $ 50 million, so the company is counting on any assistance from the state.
Looking at the current situation, the method of doing business in Kolomoisky emerges. Many of the circumstances are reminiscent of the history of AeroSvit, an airline that went bankrupt in 2012 as a result of accumulating debt to airports and air navigation services, which made the carrier simply refuse to service airports. And when the assets are completely exhausted, Igor Valeryevich, most likely, will count on the help of the state, as it was already the case with Privat, which had to nationalize. At the same time, assessing the state of the budget of Ukraine the content of the national airline is now impossible.
And when the issue of sponsorship and development of the largest airline of Ukraine lead to total savings, we can not be sure exactly what the costs were cut. The answer to this question can be obtained only after an unscheduled inspection of the safety of UIA flights by the State Aviation Service, which was declared by the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladislav Krikliy, as well as a full investigation of the crash.
In the meantime, OneNews strongly recommends that you refuse to choose flights with Ukraine International Airlines.