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The UIA Chess Piece

November 30, 2014

A few days ago, an entry appeared that mentioned newly proposed Aviation Regulations that would not been seen as particularly favourable to most international air carriers operating in Ukraine.

“There is then an entire raft of retarded legislation that would counter the interests of Ukraine – though of course not the interests of certain Ukrainians – tabled and pending the new legislature’s decision. Draft legislation such as the proposal on aviation regulation, likely to turn European carriers away from Ukraine, rather than toward it.”

Indeed so.  The rules, that were proposed on 24th October would require carriers with bases in Ukraine to be more than 50 percent locally owned and to offer domestic flights with international ones.

Let’s be blunt.  The only airliner operating in Ukraine that could meet all criteria in the linked regulations would be Ukraine International Airways (UIA).

Nobody would be surprised if the new Regulations were written, if not by, then with a kindly eye toward, UIA, which is currently making losses, rewriting it’s corporate strategy for the next 5 years, and has been so far refused government stability/bailout funding.  Funding, however, should not be that much of a problem when UIA is owned by such as Ihor Kolomoisky.

That government funding has not come is no doubt an exceptionally minor and almost meaningless move in the on-going oligarchical  three-way chess match between President Poroshenko, Ihor Kolomoisky and Dmitry Firtash/Sergei Lyovochkin.

A somewhat more significant move by the Poroshenko camp is that the Justice Ministry, yesterday,  agreed to suspend the new Aviation Regulations in order to consult with all stakeholders in the Ukrainian aviation market – meaning everybody else who had little/no input into the new Aviation Regulations, compared with UIA lobbyists that the State Aviation Service appear to have accommodated so well.

The outcome of those consultations will be watched just as closely as the G3 tender and licensing – and for the same reasons.

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