Ukrainian airline SkyUp celebrates clearance to fly in US airspace

SkyUp Boeing 737-800 UR-SQB
Real_life_photo / Shutterstock

The Ukrainian airline SkyUp is celebrating a monumental moment in its history after receiving permission from the United States (US) to operate on US territory. 

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine SkyUp’s fleet was evacuated and the airline has been operating throughout Europe providing Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance (ACMI) services and charter flights. 

On September 25, 2023, the airline announced that it plans to develop ACMI services and charter flights in the new market in the US. 

“An important goal for the international development of the brand has been achieved. I am proud of the team, their professional approach, and their persistence in achieving results. Also, on behalf of the company, I express my sincere gratitude to the competent state structures of the United States for their trust and the opportunity to work in the United States,” commented the general director of SkyUp Airlines, Dmytro Seroukhov. 

Four Boeing 737-800 aircraft from the airline’s fleet that were submitted in the application have been cleared to fly in US airspace.  

The planes that have been authorized to fly are registered UR-SQB, UR-SQC, UR-SQF, and UR-SQP, all of which are currently operating around Europe.  

As part of gaining approval to fly in US airspace, SkyUp had to get clearance from three different American bodies.  

The permit to conduct business as an air carrier on US territory was approved by the Department of Transportation (DoT). 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had to confirm SkyUp complied with aviation security requirements for air transportation from, or to US territory.  

Finally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to issue a FAR129 certificate, which ensures foreign air carriers or operators can fly in US airspace.  

In May 2023 SkyUp received a Maltese Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and is currently registered on the island but eventually the carrier plans to return to Ukraine. 

“Imagine, one day, tomorrow or after tomorrow, as soon as possible, the war will be finished and we need to be the first in Ukraine, and we will be. Because we are a Ukrainian carrier,” Seroukhov told AeroTime in July 2023.    

The carrier currently operates eight Boeing 737-800 and two Boeing 737-700. SkyUp still has Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order.  

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