DALLAS — Ukrainian carrier SkyUp Airlines (PQ) is now allowed to operate flights to and from the UK. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given the airline a Third Country Operator (TCO) permit.
Because of the UK leaving the European Union, airlines now need additional documents to keep flying in Great Britain. The European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) approval is not enough, meaning airlines also need to prove they comply with the CAA’s requirements.
SkyUp explained it had to provide detailed information about its “operations, fleet, flight history, internal manuals,” and data on operational procedures and its flight safety management system, among other items, to the British regulator.
The authenticity of these documents was confirmed by the Ukrainian regulator in order to complete the verification process.
Thanks to its TCO permit, PQ can now fly to the UK without any additional permits. The CAA has to verify the TCO permit every 24 months for the airline to continue flying to the UK, which is an important market for PQ.
Wet Leases, Charter Flights
Because of the war in Ukraine, PQ had to adapt. The airline has canceled all of its scheduled passenger flights to and from Ukraine. In order to keep operations running, the airline decided to wet-lease its Boeing 737s and support humanitarian actions in Ukraine.
All of PQ’s two Boeing 737-700s and 12 Boeing 737-800s can be wet-leased by other international carriers. That means that PQ would still operate flights with its own aircraft and crew, but the tickets would be sold by another carrier. The wet-lease agreements are financially helpful, and they also allow the employees to keep working despite the crisis.
The airline has performed evacuation flights out of Ukraine since the outset of the Russian invasion. The carrier has also transported equipment and supplies to Ukraine.
Thanks to the new TCO permit, PQ will be able to operate charter and wet-leased flights to the UK, helping the airline survive the Ukraine crisis..
Featured image: SkyUp Airlines operates 12 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways