Budget airline Ryanair have abandoned all their routes to the Ukraine, including between Wrocław and Lviv.
Earlier this year Ryanair announced they would operate 3 flights per week between Wroclaw and Lviv starting from the end of October.
However, in a statement published on their website yesterday, Ryanair confirmed that this will no longer happen:
Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, today (10 July) announced that it has cancelled its planned entry into Ukraine following Kiev airport’s failure to honour a growth agreement reached at the Ministry of Infrastructure with airport officials and the current Airport Director General, Mr Riabikin, in March of this year.
Regrettably, Kiev airport has instead chosen to protect high fare airlines (including Ukraine International Airlines) and deprive Ukrainian consumers/visitors access to Europe’s lowest air fares and widest route network. As a result, Ryanair has no choice but to cancel 4 new Kiev routes and 7 new Lviv routes, which will result in the loss of over 500,000 passengers and 400 jobs.
Ryanair sincerely apologises to the many customers who have booked low fare flights to/from the Ukraine, all of whom will be contacted by email and refunded for their cancelled flights.
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien said:
“On behalf of Ukrainian visitors and consumers, we regret that Kiev Airport has demonstrated that Ukraine is not yet a sufficiently mature or reliable business location to invest valuable Ryanair aircraft capacity. Kiev Airport’s failure to honour commitments will result in the loss of over 500,000 customers and 400 airport jobs in the first year alone, which would have provided a significant boost to the Ukrainian economy. We regret also that Lviv Airport has fallen victim to Kiev Airport’s decision.
Ryanair will now transfer this capacity to competing markets, such as Germany, Israel and Poland instead. Ryanair will grow from 130 million passengers this year to 200 million passengers by 2024 and retains the hope that Ukraine might participate in this growth at some point in the future.”
Of course the above statement only shows us Ryanair's side of the story. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, the Ukrainian airport authorities see things very differently.
Paweł Riabikin, President of Kiev Boryspil airport, is quoted as saying that the "conditions proposed by Ryanair are not acceptable to the airport and not in accordance with Ukrainian law."
Riabikin also claimed in a press conference yesterday that some of Ryanair's demands included exemption from airport charges, free advertising and a ticket sales office at the airport, plus a 35 percent cut of the purchases their customers make at the airport.