Ukraine-based carrier SkyUp Airlines evacuated its last Boeing 737 out of Ukraine, one of the few rare cases of aircraft being shipped out of the war-torn country.
The Boeing 737-800 NextGeneration (NG) aircraft, registered as UR-SQP, flew from Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP), Ukraine to Iasi International Airport (IAS), Romania, on April 4, 2023. The narrow-body jet joined the airline’s other 11 aircraft that are wet leased to other airlines or charter operators across Africa and Europe.
The flight, which was briefly tracked on flightradar24.com once the Boeing 737 was a few kilometers away from Romanian airspace, was the aircraft’s first flight in over a year. Per RadarBox.com data, the narrow-body jet departed and was forced to turn back to KBP on February 24, 2022, at 3:40 AM local time (UTC +3), landing 12 minutes after at the same airport.
February 24, 2022, was the same day that Russia invaded Ukraine.
Previously, the Turkish Air Force evacuated a pair of Airbus A400M airlifters out of the country in December 2022, which were stuck in the country since the day of the invasion. The two military aircraft landed at KBP on February 24, 2022, just shortly after midnight to deliver humanitarian supplies and evacuate Turkish nationals.
In September 2022, a Wizz Air Airbus A320, registered as HA-LWS, took off from Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport (LWO) and arrived at Katowice Airport (KTW). It was also stuck in Ukraine since the day of the invasion.
Currently, SkyUp Airlines has 12 Boeing 737s in its fleet. Meanwhile, there are 41 aircraft associated with an airline that are currently stored at 15 of the largest Ukrainian airports, according to ch-aviation.com data. The list includes three Wizz Air Airbus A320s, registered as HA-LPJ, HA-LPM, and HA-LWY, as well as 14 Ukraine International Airlines aircraft. The national flag carrier of Ukraine suspended operations on February 24, 2022.