Launch of the national air carrier, new modern airdromes, transformation of Boryspil International Airport into an Eastern European air hub, revival of aircraft construction and strengthening cooperation with the European Union are goals for the coming years, said President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the "Large Construction: Aviation and Tourism" Forum in Kyiv.
"I have always said that we really need projects that sew our country together. Both metaphorically and literally - practically, project-wise," said the President, noting that the aircraft construction has once become one of the most important projects of the European Union.
"Today is an important day - we return the idea of a European aircraft to the world. Now it is our Ukrainian dream, shared with colleagues from Europe. Ukraine has a beautiful "Antonov", all production facilities for the full cycle of creation of a modern aircraft. It's not easy, but we are already doing it. This is both cargo planes and government orders. This year three planes are being built for our state. We have all the facilities for serial production, up to providing comprehensive after-sales support," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
At the same time, according to the President, negotiations are underway with Western partners on the creation of a modern air hub in Ukraine for the modernization of passenger planes into cargo ones.
In order to realize the state interests in the field of air transportation within the Large Construction program, a national air carrier is being created.
"Apart from the promises, we are moving to practical implementation - this is our national air carrier, its creation will be officially launched today. We are ready to invest in the air fleet, provide orders for Ukrainian manufacturers and involve world leaders in joint projects in aircraft construction," the President stressed.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the working title of the future company is Ukrainian National Airlines (UNA, "Ukrainian National Airlines"). There is already confirmation of the economic feasibility of this project from French consultants.
"However, the implementation of this idea is not only about increasing profits and passenger traffic, but also about the status, image and prestige of our state in general. Our national air carrier is independent of any other groups and influence," the President said.
At the same time, according to him, today Ukraine is investing billions of hryvnias in the modernization of regional airports, in the construction of new runways and terminals in Chernivtsi, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, Kherson, Vinnytsia, Poltava.
"We are also preparing to build two more (we have recently resolved this important strategic issue) new airports in eastern Ukraine and another new airport in Zakarpattia. We are sewing our state together," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
He also recalled the main event of this year - the signing of the open skies agreement with the European Union, which is often called the second visa-free regime.
"The Common Aviation Area Agreement with Ukraine is unique, as the European Union does not have aviation agreements with any country in the world on such terms. In particular, Ukraine retains its powers as a state - manufacturer of aircraft. This is very important for our domestic brand "Antonov", the relevant certification powers are also retained in Ukraine," said the President.
"The launch of a national carrier, new modern airports - this is not a question of isolated cases, this is a dozen new modern airports - this is a big step forward. The transformation of Boryspil International Airport into the most powerful Eastern European aircraft hub, the revival of our modern Ukrainian aircraft construction and the strengthening of industrial cooperation in the Ukraine - European Union format are the main goals for us, for the Ministry, for "Large Construction". Obviously - ambitious, of course - difficult, but I'm sure - feasible," said the President.