- Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, will fly to Ukraine this fall, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan told Hromadske TV. The schedule of flights, to Lviv and Kyiv Boryspil, will be announced in coming weeks. The low cost airline will be arriving one year late. Flights were to start last October, but a deal fell through after a dispute with Boryspil about airport fees.
- Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport was Europe’s third fastest growing airport for its size last year, the Airports Council International Europe reports. With 22.1% percent growth, to 10.5 million passengers, Boryspil was bested only by Keflavík, Iceland, up 28.3%; and Naples, up 26.6%. With its growth, Boryspil outgrew its category, the 5 to 10 million passenger group. Among Europe’s non-EU countries, the airports of Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Iceland showed the region’s highest growth, an average increase of 20%.
- Boryspil, Ukraine's largest airport, saw record $152 million revenue last year, the Kyiv-based Center for Transport Strategies reports. After recording 10.5 million passengers, Boryspil’s management starts a 6-year, $224 million modernization program designed to double traffic by 2023, to 20 million. Boryspil accounts for 60% of Ukraine’s air traffic and offers direct flights to about 100 cities.
- Kharkiv is tripling cities served with regularly schedule flights, from five today to 16 this summer, Vladimir Vasilchenko, the airport general director, told journalists Tuesday. Sky Up, Ukraine’s new discount carrier, will start flights in June from Kharkiv to Barcelona, Larnaca, Tivat, Burgas and Rimini. Domestically, Sky Up will fly from Kharkiv to Lviv and Odesa. Wizz Air will start flights to Katowice and to Dortmund. Georgian Airlines will start flights to Tblisi and UIA to Bergamo. In addition, the airport is negotiating flights to Dubai with Fly Dubai and to Vienna with Austrian Airlines. With the new flights, the airport is expected this year to top one million passengers. Julia Svetlichna, governor of Kharkiv region, said: "Kharkiv airport is the largest in the east of the country. It serves the inhabitants of Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, Sumy, and Poltava regions.”
- YanAir airline will start regular flights from Odesa to Krakow on May 22. The 90- minute, 900 km flight to Poland’s second largest city, comes after Polish LOT Air recently started Odesa-Warsaw flights. This spring YanAir starts flights from Odesa to Batumi, Tblisi, and Tel Aviv. The slowest growing of Ukraine’s eight biggest airports, Odesa saw its traffic rise 18.3% last year to 1.2 million. This year, it will probably be overtaken this year by Lviv.
- For 2018, ICU investment bank forecasts 3% GDP growth and a year end dollar exchange rate of 28.5 hryvnia. The trade deficit will grow, boosted as steel and iron ore prices decline 8-16% in 2018. High oil and gas prices also will hurt. But, IC writes: “Ukraine has already started increasing its energy independence and there is growing export potential this year.”
- Ukraine’s cash-based ‘shadow’ economy fell to 33% of GDP in the first nine months of last year, down three percentage points from the same period in 2016. By sector, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade observed the following drops: real estate transactions – to 38% from 46%; wholesale and retail trade -- to 22% from 27%; financial and insurance activities -- to 49% from 53%; and construction -- to 28% from 34%.
- ‘Shadow employment’ in Ukraine fell by 8% to 3.7 million workers last year, Andriy Reva, Minister of Social Policy, told reporters Tuesday.
- The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation is to provide Astarta agro-holding with a long-term loan of $30 million. If approved by the IFC board, this would be the the fourth IFC loan to Astarta since 2012. Spread over Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnitsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernigov, Cherkasy and Kharkov regions, Astarta has sugar factories, dairy farms and a land bank of 250,000 hectares.
- Agroliga, a major Kharkiv-based agro-holding, reported to the Warsaw Stock Exchange that its net profit increased 11.4% in 2017, to EUR 4.2 million. This spring, the company plans to launch a new EUR 9 million vegetable oil refinery in Nova Vodolaha. With a base capacity of processing 100,000 tons of raw materials, it can be expanded for a small additional investment to 280,000 tons.
- The number of cows in Ukraine on Feb. 1 was down 4.5% yoy, to 3.5 million, the State Statistics Service reports. Similarly, the number of pigs decreased by 8.2% to 6 million, and the number of sheep and goats by 5%, to 1.3 million.
- Mariupol, Ukraine’s major port on the Sea of Azov, increased cargo handling in January by 32% yoy, according to the Sea Ports Authority. Open year around, Mariupol is a full service port with 4.2 km of berths and capacity to handle ships up to 240 meters long and with drafts up to eight meters. Ukraine fears that Russia’s construction of a bridge over the Kerch Strait could strangle the port.
- The CEO Ukroboronprom, Ukraine’s state-controlled defense conglomerate, has announced his retirement. Roman Romanov, the CEO, said in a statement posted on the company website that since war with Russia began in summer 2014 “more than 16,000 pieces of weapons and military equipment have been handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard and other security forces.”
- DTEK, Ukraine's largest privately held energy holding, cut production of anthracite coal by 52% percent last year, to about 10 million tons. This was due to the loss in March of control over anthracite mines in separatist areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Overall, DTEK’s coal production dropped by 11.3% to 27.7 million tons. The company cut coal exports by 44% and sharply increased imports – from Poland, South Africa and the US.
- Vodaphone, Ukraine’s second largest mobile operator, has lost access to subscribers in the separatist-controlled half of Donetsk region. Alexander Zakharchenko, the rebel leader, said that a one-month long break in a Vodaphone cable justifies the separatists breaking with Vodaphone. He asked the estimated 1 million residents of the separatist area to open accounts with a new local operator, Phoenix.
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UBJ a.m. is reported by UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke, a former New York Times foreign correspondent and Bloomberg Moscow bureau chief. For comments and story tips, Brooke is reachable at email@example.com