Ukrainian airline AeroSvit launched passenger service yesterday with the first Antonov An-148-100 regional jet on a flight between Boyrspil International Airport, outside Kiev, and Kharkov, in northeastern Ukraine. Built by Kiev’s Aviant and used to gain CIS certification in 2007, the 70-seat jet took off from Kiev Borispol at 1:30 p.m. and landed in Kharkov at 2:50 p.m. local time, a representative from Russia’s United Aircraft Corp (OAK) told AIN. The return flight departed Kharkov at 5:50 p.m. and landed in Kiev at 7:10 p.m. Neither Aviant nor the airplane’s Russian manufacturer, Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO), has completed a production example of the high-wing jet.
Ukrainian government officials took part in a ceremony marking the first revenue flight, during which Ukrainian transport minister Yosyp Vinsky told reporters that plans call for the second An-148 to enter service by the end of this year. Antonov plans to display the AeroSvit airplane at this month’s Paris Air Show.