Ukrainian carrier arrives at Gatwick

An airline from Eastern Europe has launched a new flight from Gatwick Airport to the city of Kiev in the Ukraine. The route, which is AeroSvit Ukrainian Airlines’ first ever service to the UK, could lure an extra 65,000 annual passengers to the Crawley hub.

Founded in 1994, AeroSvit specialises in flights to and from Russia, Kazakhstan, and its native Ukraine. The airline is the largest carrier in its homeland in terms of passengers carried, and claims to be the first airline based in the republic to offer “high quality service” and “modern standards of aviation security” to its customers.

AeroSvit’s Kiev service is the 18th new route to be introduced at Gatwick since the hub was bought by Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009, according to the airport’s chief, Stewart Wingate.

The Gatwick-Kiev route will operate five times a week, with no flights on Saturdays and Sundays. Connecting flights from Kiev’s Boryspil Airport to the Ukrainian cities of Odessa, Lugansk, and Ivano-Frankivsk are also available, opening up a wider area of Eastern Europe to the adventurous traveller.

Mr. Wingate said that AeroSvit’s decision to debut at Gatwick was indicative of the hub’s growing attractiveness to holidaymakers and airlines. “Our ambition is to become London’s airport of choice for passengers”, the chief executive explained. “This latest news highlights the progress we’re making.”

AeroSvit is the second airline in four months to strike a deal with bosses at the Crawley hub. Last year, Air Berlin abandoned two routes out of Stansted Airport, and moved part of its fleet to Gatwick. The German carrier cited better transport links at the Crawley hub as the impetus for the decision. AeroSvit boss, Alexander Avdieiev, has also commended the “excellent” links to London available around Gatwick Airport.

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