Ryanair launches Kiev flights; we look at the Germany – Ukraine market

Ryanair Düsseldorf Weeze to Kiev Borispol

Celebrating the launch of Weeze to Kiev flights with the crew were Vladyslav Yehorov, Consul General of Ukraine and Ludger van Bebber, CEO Düsseldorf Weeze.

Ryanair on Sunday 20 October launched twice-weekly (Thursday and Sunday) flights between Düsseldorf Weeze (NRN) and Kiev Borispol (KBP). The route has no direct competition, while the city-pair sees  Ukraine International Airlines operate a daily service from Düsseldorf International. Wizz Air also operates a three-weekly service from Dortmund to Kiev Zhulyany (IEV).

Looking at the German – Ukrainian market, average fares are high despite an increasing low-cost presence.

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser, Ryanair Investor Relations. *Ryanair systemwide average fare, USD weighted 21/10/2019.

Despite the reasonably short distances, average fares are relatively high between the two countries mainly because it is still dominated by FSCs. In 2019, Lufthansa and UIA have a combined 54% of total seats.  However, UIA in particular has suffered in fare performance, with a five year declining trend from $115 to $95.  This is partly from the growing strength of LCCs, with Ukraine – Germany now led by Wizz Air.  And it is despite increasing fuel costs and economic headwinds.

Although Ryanair does not submit MIDT data to OAG, their system-wide average fares foreshadow the carrier’s likely impact between Düsseldorf and Kiev. In comparison to UIA, it will hold a cost advantage from operating from Weeze.  This, and its well-publicised cost leadership, will enable it to target the most price-sensitive customers who previously flew UIA or travelled by coach.  Its average fare is consistently more than 50% lower than UIA’s, and although this is system-wide we expect notable demand stimulation on the route.


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