Ukraine Airlines Launches First Service to U.S.

 - April 25, 2014, 10:39 AM
A UIA Boeing 767-300 now flies direct between Kiev and New York. (Photo: Ukraine International Airlines)

Ukraine International Airlines on Friday operated its first ever transatlantic flight—a nonstop trip with a Boeing 767 from Kiev to New York—some seven months after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration reinstated Ukraine’s Category 1 status under its International Safety Assessment Program (IASA). UIA now flies a single round trip each day between Kiev Boryspil International Airport and New York JFK Airport.

Ukraine earned a Category 2 rating in 2005, when the FAA determined that the Ukrainian civil aviation authority showed deficiencies in at least one of several areas, including technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures. The FAA reinstated Ukraine’s Category 1 status following a review of the Ukrainian authority last July in which the U.S. agency found it had satisfied the requirements of a so-called action plan.

The introduction of transatlantic flights by UIA comes as the carrier continues its suspension of all flights to and from Simferopol in Crimea. UIA has canceled all flights between Kiev and Simferopol until June 26 “due to flight operation restrictions beyond [its] control.” On March 12 UIA ceased flights between the two cities after receiving written instructions from Simferopol International Airport that it must suspend services at least until March 18. At the time a UIA spokesperson told AIN that the airport had banned all flights except for those to and from Russia, which now controls the airspace over Crimea. Only Russian carriers now fly into and out of the region.