Ukraine Air Alliance applies for US cargo rights, and says it plans to acquire MD-80 freighters.
Kiev-based An-12 operator Ukraine Air Alliance filed an application with the US Department of Transportation on 26 October for a foreign air carrier permit and an exemption authorizing the carrier “to engage in scheduled and charter foreign air transportation of property and mail between points behind Ukraine via Ukraine and intermediate points to any point or points in the United States, and beyond to any point or points in a third country or countries; and also for charter foreign air transportation of property and mail between the United States and points beyond.” (DOT-OST-2015-0215-0001)
Ukraine Air Alliance is privately owned, with 100% of the shares registered to Ukrainian citizen Natliya Bondarenko. In its application, the carrier, which currently operates a fleet of eight An-12s, says it intends to operate “approximately eight flights per month” to/from the US beginning in spring 2016. It also says it “plans to purchase five MD-80 cargo aircraft at some point, but it will operate most or all of its first year services to the United States using exclusively the AN-12’s.”
Regarding the MD-80 freighters, Cargo Facts assumes the decision to acquire MD-80s and have them converted to freighter configuration is likely contingent upon the granting of US rights by the DOT. Currently the only source of MD-80 P-to-F conversions is US-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, which recently gained EASA certification for the program.