Why did Ukraine International Airlines split off the MRO?
An airline’s key business is selling tickets, and there is a global tendency when an airline gets to a certain fleet size, staff and revenue, to look at how to become more effective and efficient. That includes looking at separating non-core activities. Ukraine International Airlines already separated its ground handling services into a 100% owned subsidiary, so we are the second subsidiary—focused on Part 145 maintenance.
When is it officially spinning off?
It’s still a work in process. The timing depends on the Ukrainian CAA. The company is registered—now it’s all about the certification and getting the documentation. I think we should get our Ukrainian certification and be separated from the airline by the end of summer.
We are applying in parallel for Part 145 and 147 Ukrainian certification. After we get that, we’ll do the same for EASA and look at getting Part 21 as a next step.
What are the company’s aspirations for maintenance services and customers?
Our main core customer is our mother airline. We already are the biggest maintenance provider in the Ukraine. That’s where we can build on our strengths. We would like to bring international standards, new technologies and new visions to the company. We want to be a modern MRO provider—not an old style company. The separation process allows us to leave some things behind—when you leave, you don’t want to bring everything with you—so you[should this be “we” since the beginning of the sentence references “us”?] can be more effective.
What is Ukraine International’s fleet composition?
It has about 50 aircraft, mainly Boeing 737 NGs, although it also operates five Embraer 190s, 767s and two 777s. The airline is transitioning its widebodies from 767s to 777s.
If we talk in one year, what accomplishments do you think we will be discussing?
I think it will be our expanded capabilities list. We’re looking at the 737 MAX as a service addition. I think the third-party business will start to track. Right now we don’t have enough resources to service our key customer’s entire maintenance volume, but we want to expand, so we also can serve some customers from outside—maybe 10-15% of the business.