Turkey’s Atlasjet Plans Unit in War-Torn Ukraine With New Planes

Turkish low-cost airline Atlasjet Havacilik AS plans to establish a unit in Ukraine aided by the purchase of new aircraft as it turns to the war-torn country for growth away from a crowded home market.

Atlasjet aims to connect Kiev with domestic destinations Odessa and Lviv, together with Tel Aviv, Moscow and its own base of Istanbul from September or October, owner Murat Ersoy said in a statement. The new unit will be called Atlasjet Ukraine, he said at a press conference.

The Turkish carrier, which operates about 20 Airbus Group NV, mostly A321s, has previously established units in Iraq, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, tapping pent-up demand in nations with underdeveloped air links as Turkish Airlines and low-cost leader Pegasus Hava Tasimaciligi AS dominate local flights.

“Our aim is to grow our business in Ukraine with experience we have from Turkey,” Ersoy said. “We are also planning to make a large aircraft order soon and some of those new aircraft will be assigned to the operations in Ukraine.”

Ersoy didn’t say why he’s planning flights from Kiev at a time when Ukraine is in a standoff with Russia over its eastern territories and flights through some of the country’s airspace have been halted following the shooting down of a Malaysian Air Boeing Co. jet last month with the loss of 298 lives.

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