UPD 1: As of 2:25 pm, passengers, crew, and all those who accompanied repatriated nationals during the flight from Wuhan have been transferring to the observation location.
The plane has undergone a disinfection procedure and remains locked in a separate parking lot at Kharkiv airport for several hours. Later, the filters of the plane's air conditioning system will be replaced.
UPD: February, 20 upon refueling and crew change, flight PQ7302 departed from Almaty to Kyiv.
When the plane has been almost in Ukraine, the air carrier was ordered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to land at Kharkiv airport. According to the instructions received, the plane headed to Kharkiv.
With respect to adverse weather conditions, the plane had been waiting for air permits to land at the airport for a certain period of time. As the weather conditions did not improve, the plane with evacuated nationals landed at Boryspil at 9.40 am. In the airport, the plane will be refueled, serviced and passengers will be provided with food. As soon as all the procedures to be completed and the weather conditions improve the plane will fly to Kharkiv International Airport.
SkyUp Airlines will repatriate nearly 49 Ukrainians and 35 foreign nationals from China. They will be transferred to the place of observation for the next 14 days immediately upon their return.
The departure of a special flight PQ7301 from Kyiv to Wuhan, China’s Hubei province, was scheduled for Tuesday, 18 February at 23:30. At the same time, China gave foreign countries permission to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan not early than 22:00 local time. With respect to China’s requirement, the flight departed from Kyiv on 19 February at 02:50 and will arrive in China at 22:00 local time.
As planned, in Wuhan, nearly 49 Ukrainians and 35 foreign nationals currently in Hubei will board the plane. On its way to China and back, the plane will land in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for refueling and crew change.
This flight is organized by government order jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
Why we do this
This decision resulted from pulling together efforts by a socially conscious citizens, the government, and private sector.
Non-standard situations such as coronavirus outbreaks in China mobilize society. Cooperation and mutual assistance are the core to overcoming the most serious challenges and ensuring the safety of human life, which is of the highest priority for both the state and SkyUp.
“The safety of people is the highest value for us. When it came to the question of repatriating our fellow citizens, we immediately responded to the government's request to organize a flight. I am very grateful to the team for supporting this decision and I am proud of everyone who has agreed to participate. The SkyUp team is incredibly dedicated, sincere, and responsive”, commented SkyUp Airlines' decision to fly its CEO, Yevhen Khaynatsky.
About the crew
For each of the flight crew members, this decision is conscious, well-considered, and voluntary, despite the potential health risks. We have selected 17 crew members among those airline’s team who have volunteered to join this mission.
The air carrier, for its part, provides the flight crew with individual protective equipment, such as special protective suits, masks, as recommended by WHO. In addition, the airline insured each crew member in the event of disability.
The necessary precautionary measures to minimize health risks recommended by the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine will be taken on board during the flight. Passengers will stay in a specially equipped area. They will be given masks, which will need to be changed every three hours, and antiseptics.
For this flight, from employees who have volunteered, three crews of 17 people were formed: 6 pilots, 10 cabin crew and 1 technician. In addition, passengers and crew will be accompanied by qualified medical staff from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. This includes 2 doctors and 1 nurse, and representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.
About the flight
Flight PQ7301/7302 will perform Boeing 737-700 NG with UR-SQD registration number (reserve plane is Boeing 737-800 NG with SQB registration number). On 19 February at 02:50 the plane departed from Boryspil airport to Almaty, from where it departs to Wuhan after refueling and crew rotation.
At 18:05 Kyiv time 19 February (00:05 local time 20 February), the plane will depart from Wuhan to Almaty, from where it will depart to Ukraine after refueling and crew changes. Expected time of arrival is 20 February, morning.
What awaits passengers and crew upon arrival
All necessary procedures (passport control, customs formalities) will be performed directly on the platform near the ramp at the airplane.
Passengers, crew, and all who will contact them will be sent to the place of observation for the next 14 days right from the airport. It is currently the maximum incubation period from infection to the onset of symptoms of a new coronavirus.
The institution will be isolated for the duration of the observation. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine entrusted with observation of passengers and the SkyUp team.
What awaits the plane upon arrival
Upon arrival in Ukraine, a separate parking lot will be allocated for the plane. The sanitary and epidemiological service will carry out disinfection procedure. This will take about two hours, after which the aircraft will remain closed for several hours and then checked. Also, according to Boeing's recommendations, SkyUp will replace the air conditioning filters.
A day after the disinfection and technical maintenance, the aircraft will be ready to return to work.