Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Ukraine International Airlines has had a record-breaking year out of Canada on its Toronto-Kyiv route, says AirlinePros’ Director Karl Müller. AirlinePros is the commercial representative for UIA in Canada.
Response to the route has been “nothing short of remarkable” says Müller. AirlinePros helped to host an event at Pearson earlier this month to commemorate UIA’s success in Canada over the last 12 months. Müller was joined by Ira Koliuda, Sales Manager for UIA.
Attendees got to see and experience the Boeing 777 which currently serves the YYZ-KBP route, with Business, Premium Y and Economy offerings.
Müller said that the market results “have been remarkably better than initially expected or planned for” on the YYZ-KBP route, which over the past 12 months has seen an average load factor of 90%.
Sales in Canada are expanding geographically and among a variety of travel partners including retail agencies, consolidators, tour operators and some TMCs, he adds. “Even U.S.-based passengers have been seeking the Toronto route for its convenience,” says Müller. UIA has interline agreements with Air Canada and WestJet.
Attractive airfares have played an essential role in the route’s success, along with a vast route network with efficient connectivity through modern Kyiv Boryspil International Airport, says Müller.
Destinations such as Warsaw, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Amman, Delhi and beyond, covering a wide range of Middle East, Eurasia and Eastern Europe, are all well within reach with UIA’s network, he adds.
UIA hopes to make the upgraded B777 service permanent as soon as feasible operationally. The route had been operated via B767-300 aircraft.
UIA now offers branded fares for flights from Toronto and also New York, and all other domestic, regional and international flights, in GDS platforms including Amadeus, Sabre and Worldspan. The fares include Economy Lite (EE), Economy Standard (FF), Economy Premium (PP), Business Saver (BS) and Business Flex (BB).