Antonov’s director Mykhailo Kharchenko announced that the Ukranian manufacturer is considering the idea of establishing its own low-cost airline. For the time being this is only an idea, since their business of building planes and leasing them to other airlines is more cost-efficient.
The director also pointed out that establishing an airline is a huge responsibility and that even one aircraft accident can diminish the position of Antonov on the market. Nevertheless, he also shared that the first possible destinations for the low-cost carrier will be Turkey, Egypt and Bulgaria since passenger demand for those destinations increases dramatically over the holiday season.
The possible hub of the airline will be the Gostomel Airport, which is the main base of Antonov. The company will need to invest money in improving its infrastructure and making it suitable for welcoming passengers. This investment is not possible at present, since Antonov does not have spare cash. The other problem is the lack of aircraft to be used. The manufacturer has several An-148 and An-158 passenger planes in its service, which were previously operated by Ukraine International Airlines and AeroSvit but they are not suitable for flying. In order to be used the aircraft needs to undergo certification for airworthiness.