MIAMI – Ukraine’s new airline, Air Ocean Airlines (AOA), launched its inaugural regional flight on the Kyiv-Mykolayiv route on October 30, 2021, using an An-148 jet aircraft, according to an Antonov State Enterprise (SE) press service.

Air Ocean Airlines was created in September 2020, and it was the first carrier in the country to use Antonov An-148 and An-158 aircraft for regular and charter flights on both domestic and international routes.

“We plan to launch 2 to 2.5-hour flights, which we believe would be the most cost-effective,” said airline CEO Viacheslav Geriga, via news outlet Ukrinform.

Antonov SE, formerly the Aeronautical Scientific-Technical Complex named Antonov, and earlier the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company.

Air Ocean currently operates two An-148 aircraft. By the end of the year, another plane will be operational. Three more planes will arrive in the first or second quarter of 2022.

The company intends to operate up to ten of these aircraft and will lease them from CYPRUS AIRCRAFT LEASING 2 (CAL) LTD, a Cyprus-based company.

Image: Air Ocean

The Antonov An-148

According to the release, the An-148s will be properly maintained in Ukraine. Antonov SE will service the glider, PJSC Motor Sich will service the engine, and Pivdenmash will service the chassis. Ekran, Elektronprylad, FED, HACB, UKRANALYT, and a number of other companies are involved in maintenance.

Antonov SE provides a full simulator for flight crew training, allowing them to practice any emergency situations that may arise during actual flights.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine stated his desire to build a government-run airline in April 2020, as reported by Ukrinform. The airline’s fleet will comprise entirely of aircraft made by Antonov SE aircraft.

Featured image: Air Ocean Airlines An-Antonov 148. Photo: Air Ocean Airlines