SkyUp Airlines (SQP, Kiev Igor Sikorsky) will launch international charter flights from a number of Ukrainian cities in April 2018, followed by domestic and international scheduled operations, the carrier has announced in a press release quoted by Interfax.

The Ukrainian LCC intends to operate charter flights from both Kiev Boryspil and Kiev Igor Sikorsky, as well as Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa and other cities in Ukraine to a total of sixteen destinations, including a number of Mediterranean airports, Tenerife Sur, Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Burgas, Varna and Dubai Int'l.

Charter operations will form the backbone of SkyUp's activity in the short-term, founder Yuriy Alba said during a press conference. Alba also owns tour operator JoinUp! with which SkyUp is expected to cooperate.

Following the launch of the charter operations, the airline plans to commence domestic services from Odesa to Kiev, Kharkiv and Lviv in late May or early June 2018. SkyUp also intends to operate international services from Kiev to Barcelona El Prat, Dubai and Larnaca. In 2018, the airline plans to carry some 650,000 passengers.

The airline will initially operate with a fleet of three B737-800s, growing to six in 2019, eight in 2020, ten in 2021 and twelve in 2022. SkyUp is also considering placing an order for B737-8s. So far the airline does not have an air operator's certificate and is not able to register any aircraft.

"We are now passing certification in the State Aviation Service, and in March we will receive the operator's certificate", General Director Yevhen Khamatsky said during the press conference.

While SkyUp is a fully privately-owned company, it has received strong backing from the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan, who attended the airline's launch press conference, Interfax reported. SkyUp intends to cooperate with Ukraine International Airlines, another privately-owned airline.

SkyUp has been registered as a company in 2016.