Through five years of operational activities, SkyUp Airlines has achieved several milestones with the team, partners, and our passengers. During this time, we have changed Ukrainian aviation, become the initiators of world trends in uniforms for flight attendants, withstood the pandemic and a full-scale invasion, as well as managed to launch the Ukrainian aviation brand in EU countries. We recall the key events in the company's history and look forward to returning to our native, peaceful Ukrainian airspace as soon as possible.
A New Step For Ukrainian Aviation
From the very first flight, SkyUp Airlines changes the rules of the game in Ukrainian aviation. We have overcome stereotypes about food during flights by offering a real restaurant menu: from craft ice cream to Asian cuisine. We've proved that passengers can celebrate every flight. And we have combined the dimensions of the hand luggage of a classic carrier with the prices of a low-cost carrier. But most importantly, we've always looked for an opportunity to make the trip pleasant and joyful.
Since 2018, SkyUp Airlines has operated 41,978* flights on 551* routes. Even at the beginning of its activity, SkyUp Airlines has been listed among the most dynamic airlines in Europe according to The Anker Report journal. We have been ranked seventh among European carriers in terms of route network growth rate, having opened 93 new destinations in 2018-2019.
The launch of SkyUp Airlines has changed the balance of power in the Ukrainian civil aviation market. Thus, for example, the start of the popular Kyiv — Istanbul flight has led to a 20–30% reduction in prices among all carriers on this route.
From the very beginning, the airline has paid special attention to domestic flights. We have established air connections between the capital and major cities — Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, and Zaporizhzhia, and also directly connected the regions: Kharkiv — Odesa and Kharkiv — Lviv. Even more, we have been the first to launch the Kharkiv — Lviv flight since 1991. Over all the years of operation, we have performed 2,063 domestic flights and carried 237,182* passengers on them.
One more important achievement of the company is an ecological approach. SkyUp has been the first in Ukraine to equip its aircraft with split wing tips — Split Scimitar® winglets — to save fuel and improve aerodynamics. An aircraft with such winglets saves 225,000 liters of fuel per year and reduces carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 568 tons.
From the very beginning, when we planned the launch of SkyUp, we immediately envisioned the brand as a bold innovator. And we succeeded: in many ways, thanks to SkyUp, Ukrainian civil aviation has become more democratic and open. Everything we do at SkyUp, we do from the bottom of our hearts, so it is especially important that in 2021 — the last year before the closure of the airspace over Ukraine — we were the second in terms of transportation volume among Ukrainian airlines and won first place in the «Heart of Airspace» nomination by Ukraine Tourism Awards 2021.
co-founder of SkyUp Airlines
and Join UP! tour operator
We Save Our People And Bring Them Home
The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest blow to the airline industry in its entire history. But for a company that had just begun to develop, it was an even greater challenge. However, we've managed to save the business and even grow it.
In March 2020, 7 passenger planes were converted for cargo transportation due to the ban on civil aviation flights and for the purpose of delivering medical equipment to Ukraine. Later, when the situation turned more stable, they continued to develop cargo transportation in special compartments of airplanes. From April 2020 to the end of 2021, the company transported a total of 2,410.5* tons of cargo.
Even in difficult circumstances, SkyUp continued to help the country. It was we who evacuated Ukrainians from the city of Wuhan in China on the order of the state. During the first week of the lockdown, we made more than 100* special flights to 30* countries of the world to help 18.5* thousand passengers return to Ukraine.
Despite all the challenges, we remain true to our mission — to open the world to Ukrainians, and Ukraine to the world. We offered Ukrainians new convenient formats for short trips — CityBreak, where you could book a hotel together with plane tickets, and Weekend for U, which turned a trip into a unique adventure with a company of like-minded people.
Revolutionary Uniform For Flight Attendants
In 2021, SkyUp turned out to make a real revolution, changing the uniforms for flight attendants. The new image of the Champion concept meets the requirements of the times — she is a modern girl with an active attitude, who works for team results and has respect for herself and her health. We've changed suits with skirts to more comfortable trouser suits, while high heels to ergonomic sneakers.
Our common projects with SkyUp always mean more than clothes, more than fashion collaborations — they are about values. About humanity, openness, the thirst to explore new things, and moving forward despite everything. SkyUp puts its team first. This is a driving force in our cooperation because we fully share this value. Before we create something, we research and find out the opinions and needs of the team: flight attendants and pilots
owner of Frame fashion
We have analyzed the evolution of flight attendant uniforms since the early 1930s and spoke to our flight attendants to get their insights and wishes. As a result, we have achieved a bright and dynamic image with suits by the Ukrainian brand GUDU, Nike Air Max 720, sneakers, and, as the main accent, a sky-blue scarf by GUNIA project to be attached to the epaulets of the jacket and coat. A juicy orange suitcase from the limited Have-A-Rest collection completes the look. We also added more freedom in makeup and hairstyles.
The image of a self-confident and free woman received incredible support around the world — more than 500 global publications, including ABC, Reuters, BBC UK, Business Insider, etc., wrote about the update of the uniform. In addition, later other airlines also began to use more modern styles for their cabin crew.
We Keep Flying For Victory
In February 2022, Ukrainian aviation faced a new challenge — a full-scale invasion made it impossible to operate civil flights. And if some sectors of the economy, after Ukraine has endured in the first months, are already gradually returning to recovery, risks for civil flights are still very high. But even this does not stop SkyUp Airlines — despite all obstacles, the airline finds opportunities to keep the team, continue to work, pay taxes, and help the country.
Thanks to the fact that even before the start of the active phase of the full-scale war, the company provided the possibility of overnight parking of aircraft outside Ukraine, we had the opportunity to quickly return to work. We have offered our aircraft and crews for ACMI contracts. In addition, we have performed 34* evacuation and humanitarian flights, which have delivered humanitarian cargo, and among others evacuated our employees and their family members.
Despite the airspace over Ukraine being closed to civil aviation flights, since February 24, 2022 and in the first five months of 2023, SkyUp Airlines has performed 7,076* ACMI flights and 819* charter flights.
We have cooperated with 15 airlines: Air Albania, AIR MOLDOVA, Corendon, Corendon Europe, ETF AIRWAYS, FLY ONE, Freebird Airlines, Marabu, Smartwings, SunAir, Tailwind, Tunisair, WizzAir Abu Dhabi, WizzAir Hungary, and WizzAir Malta.
After February 24, 2022, 1,148,412 passengers have traveled with us to different countries.
We make every effort to keep specialists because the future of Ukrainian aviation depends on it. The SkyUp team currently has 1,136* employees. Our efforts to continue flights allow us to maintain flight licenses for aviation personnel. After the start of the full-scale war, SkyUp Airlines has already paid UAH 165 million in taxes and continues to actively support the state.
In the spring of 2022, Shakhtar FC together with SkyUp Airlines launched a series of charity matches under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The Shakhtar Global Tour for Peace series of games generated more than €1 million in revenue in total. All funds from the sale of tickets for matches and advertising were transferred to volunteer organizations, doctors, and also to Ukrainian children who suffered from the war. In particular, part of the funds was allocated for the purchase of
- 1500 first-aid kits
- 750 helmets for the military
We are glad that Shakhtar and SkyUp Airlines have become partners almost from the first day of the airline's existence. This has allowed us to comfortably cover hundreds of thousands of kilometers together over the course of 5 years, and our company aircraft has become recognizable in many airports in Europe.
commercial director of Shakhtar FC
Since the previous year, we have been cooperating with the presidential initiative UNITED24. Thus, to popularize the initiative and support Ukraine in the world, one of the aircraft has received a special The Power of Freedom livery. This aircraft has already visited about 20* airports in 10* countries. During more than 50* completed flights, 9,000* passengers have traveled on that aircraft, which has helped to draw additional attention to our country and collect more than €10,000 for medical needs.
Barrier-free travel is another important direction for us. That is why, together with LEVCHYK SPECTRUM HUB from the Future for Ukraine fund, we created a project that helps organize the most affordable and comfortable vacation for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. Already this year, families of IDPs with children who left the war zone will go on a trip where SkyUp is to take care of the flight, and our strategic partner Join UP! tour operator is to be responsible for comfortable accommodation of families in resorts.
Ukrainian Character in the European Sky
Growth and development have been important to SkyUp since its launch. In five years, we have established cooperation with 3,366 partners around the world, our interests are represented by 24 GSA sales agents, and the partner network covers 30 countries. Nevertheless, a fundamentally new step is the opening of SkyUp MT — a European airline with Maltese registration and certificates.
I don't think there is even one airline in the world that opened shortly before the pandemic, coped with this challenge without external support, then managed to survive in the conditions of a full-scale war, and now develops its own brand and launches a new air carrier in EU countries. What is this, if not the Ukrainian character, capable of any achievements. I believe in our team, our country, and our defenders. And I am sure that SkyUp will return to Ukrainian airspace, as well as gain many supporters in the EU. Follow our news as there are many new achieved milestones ahead.
CEO of SkyUp
* — according to the airline's internal statistics