Turkish tour operator Anex Tour has announced plans to acquire the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of UTair-Ukraine (QU, Kyiv Boryspil) from its Russian parent, UTair (UT, Khanty-Mansiysk). The deal, whose value has not been disclosed, is expected to be finalized by year-end.

CEO Serhat Koçkar told Forbes Ukraine in an interview that once the certificate has been secured, his firm would rename the airline Azur Air Ukraine (QU, Kyiv Boryspil). As a charter carrier, the airline would feed into Anex Tour's operations using UTair's existing fleet of three B737-800s, all of which are owned by Anex Tour.

Initially, Azur Air Ukraine will fly to Turkey, Egypt and Spain before heading to Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy next year.

"The deal will give us the opportunity to control and fully manage all the processes involved in this business and thus provide better services," Koçkar said.

Citing a downturn in local Ukrainian demand, UTair Ukraine's current parent UTair reoriented the carrier away from the scheduled domestic services market towards that of international charters. In the process, it retired the airline's fleet of five ATR72-500s as well as all remaining B737 Classics. UTair also operates its own in-house charter operation - Azur Air (ZF, Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo).