The competitive game among Ukraine airlines in the conditions of drop in demand has remarkably toughened. In order to preserve the break-even level that even in pre-crisis times did not exceed 3-5%, the airlines plan to optimize their costs.
At the same time the airlines do their best to attract the clients, chasing each other and carrying out various incentive programs. In general, the participants of the market should act in the following way: improve their services, introduce different special discounts and bonus programs as well as optimize their costs.
For instance, from the beginning of September, on Thursdays, ‘Windrose’ airline offers the return tickets for flights Kiev – Moscow and Lvov – Moscow at the rate of USD 99, all taxes and charges included.
Yet the majority of traditional Ukraine airlines feature immense decline in passengers quantity, however those ones providing discounts continue to expand their clientele. The first country low-cost air-carrier ‘WizzAir Ukraine’ maintains that within 6 months of this year it managed to fly some 240 thousand persons and it plans to increase the figures up to 520 thousand passengers.
One should mention another European discount airline – ‘Germanwings’ that entered the Ukrainian market not so long ago and flied more than 10.000 passengers within the period of May-August, 2009. These readings are really stunning and promising.
Nevertheless, low-cost airlines happened to face the same difficulties as the majority of traditional air-carriers do. Due to the small passenger flow and balancing on the edge of cost efficiency, some discount airlines become fragile and shaky and shortly afterwards disappear from the aviation “playing field”.
Only time can show whether the forces line-up in the Ukraine aviation market will alter in the nearest future and if the low-cost air-carriers will be as much successful as they are nowadays, with them to control about 25 % of a total amount of European air services linked to the Ukrainian market.
Apart from low-cost air-carriers and big traditional airlines, there are also budget air-companies that are involved in the bulky share of the Ukrainian aviation market.
Sergey Yanovoy, the Executive-Director of the Windrose airlines, emphasizes on the fact that budget airlines stimulate passenger traffic, contribute to the expansion of business relationships and enable middle-class population to fly oftener. To his point of view, should the crisis processes slow down, the world economy will start rapidly to stabilize; as a result demand in air services will grow up accordingly.
Sometimes, the airlines have to abandon the destinations that once were popular and lucrative, for these routes to be extremely seasonal and overloaded by the proposals from a great number of air-companies. So, carrying on operating such flights is absolutely unprofitable. Apart from that, bad airport infrastructure that does not allow budget airlines to work in a fully-fledged way is another reason why some routes have been cancelled. Moreover, domestic market is more sensitive to crisis than international market: people quickly change back from aircrafts to trains and buses. So, it is of crucial importance for the Ukraine airlines to operate the flights that find a quick sale in the deciduous world of today.