- Kyiv Metro Reopened
- Last Month, Corona Curbs Killed Production
- Gas Prices Drop in Half
- IMF Deal Goes to Board
- 50 Years Later, Ukraine Emulates US Interstate Highway System
- Windrose Bets on Domestic Flights
Ukraine’s three underground metro rail systems – Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro – reopened yesterday morning – 10 weeks after closing to slow the spread of coronavirus. Passengers on all three systems will be required to wear masks, and when, possible to keep their distance from others. There will be random temperature checks. Mayors have asked residents to only use the metro when necessary, primarily for work.
When crowds form, police may close metro entrances and escalators. Trains and stations are to be cleaned every three hours. The Kyiv metro system handles 1 million riders a day and is a transportation pillar for the economy. If the metro reopening goes well, Ukrzaliznytsia plans to resume limited inter-regional train service next Monday.
Six of Ukraine’s 24 regions failed to win Health Ministry approval to reopen mass transit – bus, minibus and tram systems. Regions deemed to have too high rates of infection are Kyiv and five in the west: Chernivtsi, Lviv, Rivne, Volyn and Zakarpattia.
Since March 13, Ukraine has registered 617 deaths attributable to coronavirus – 8.5 a day. As of Sunday, Ukraine has conducted 285,626 tests, identifying 20,986 cases. About one quarter of cases require hospitalization.
Shifting employees to working at home – either partially or fully – is being considered by 62% of directors at 105 member companies of the European Business Association. In a survey completed Thursday most respondents said they were willing to allow up to 50% of the staff to work remotely. To recover to pre-crisis levels of business, 20% of the directors said it would take six months, 39% said one year, and 17% said two year.
Ukraine’s industrial output dropped 16.2% in April y-o-y, the strongest decline since mid-2015. This followed a 7.7% y-o-y drop in March, reports the State Statistics Service.
In April, the year-over-year drops were: mining – 6%; food processing – 6.5%; electricity – 8%; retail sales – 14.9%; railroad freight – 17.5%; and overall freight – 27%.
Despite April’s sharp drop in retail, sales for the first four months of the year were up 3% y-o-y. In the first quarter, sales were up 6% y-o-y. Concorde Capital’s Evgeniya Akhtyrko writes: “April’s retail plunge was significant, but not devastating.”
Steel production fell 31% in April, to 1.4 million tons, lowering Ukraine from 12th to 15th place in the ranking of the World Steel Association. Adding up the steel output of the world’s 64 largest steel producing nations, the Association said world steel production fell in April by 13% y-o-y, to 137 million tons.
Ukraine’s consumer demand, electricity production and demand for workers increased in the second week of May, “indicating a gradual resumption of economic activity following the easing of quarantine restrictions,” reports the National Bank of Ukraine. Released Friday, the regular weekly report, in a 19-slide powerpoint is readable here.
Household gas prices in May will be half the levels of January, reports Naftogaz. Benefitting from regional prices falling to 10-years lows, consumers will pay in May $87/1,000 cubic meters — 21% less than in April.
With gas prices low for the foreseeable future, Naftogaz will lose “hundreds of millions of dollars” next fall and winter when it sells gas in storage, Yuriy Vitrenko, the state energy company’s outgoing director of business development, tells the UBN in an interview. The gas was bought at higher prices last summer and fall to boost reserves to 17.5 billion cubic meters in advance of negotiating a renewal of the gas transit contract with Russia’s Gazprom. The sales price inside Ukraine is set by the Cabinet of Ministers, largely drawing on regional prices.
In early June, the IMF executives and Board are to review the $5 billion, 18-month Standby Arrangement reached at a staff level. The IMF’s new Ukraine mission chief Ivanna Vladkova Hollar said in a statement Friday that the new deal aims to provide balance of payments and budget support and “will ensure that Ukraine is well poised to return to growth and resume broader reform efforts when the crisis ends.”
Turning to the Eurobond market this summer is the next logical step, writes Timothy Ash, a strategist at BlueBay Asset Management. In an email to investors, he writes: “I would be surprised if the Ministry of Finance did not use the current improvement in credit conditions to tap global markets on the back of this news.” Writing from London, he notes: “Only a month or so back, Eurobond yields had pushed close to 12%, now they are below 8% and much more palatable for the Ministry. It’s a really uncertain world – it would be a mistake for the MOF to wait to see if yields drop back to earlier year levels of 5-6%.”
Inspired by US President Dwight Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System, launched in 1956, Ukraine’s ‘Great Construction’ program aims to repave or rebuild 24,000 km of major roads over five years, Oleksandr Kubrakov, head of Ukravtodor, the state highway agency, writes in an Atlantic Council UkraineAlert blog. “If successful, it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, energize the Ukrainian economy, and bring the entire country closer together,” Kubrakov writes of the program which has a $3.7 billion budget this year.
Highlights include: completing Ukraine’s highest and most expensive bridge, over the Dnipro, at Zaporizhia; building the modern Ukraine’s first concrete highway, between Kyiv and Dnipro; and upgrading roads connecting government-controlled Donbas with the rest of the country. Kubrakov writes: “Anticipated benefits include intensified economic interaction between Ukrainian regions, greater industrial development, improved tourism infrastructure, and the rise of large-scale suburbanization across the country.”
In time for the summer beach season, Ukravtodor is repairing key sections of the 140 km R-57 road in Kherson. This north-south road connects the Oleshky Sands, a National Nature Park, often called the largest desert in Europe, with the Black Sea port of Skadovsk, a resort town on a quiet gulf 50 km west of Crimea. Skadovsk has no rail access or airport.
In an aggressive bet on domestic air travel, Windrose airlines plans offer three flights a day from Kyiv Boryspil to each of Ukraine’s next four largest cities – Kharkiv, Dnipro, Lviv and Odesa. This service is to launch on June 15, the end of the government’s 3-month embargo on air travel. On July 15, Windrose plans to launch daily service from Boryspil to Mykolaiv. To promote domestic air travel, Windrose plans to sell vouchers valid for one intercity flight, irrespective of seasonal demand. To carry out the flights, Windrose plans to add eight ATR-72 turboprop aircraft starting in June.
- IMF Deal Comes as Ukraine Needs to Borrow $17 billion in 2020
- IT Workers Expand by 22%
- Corona Curbs Cut Kyiv’s Commercial Real Estate
- From Odessa to Odesa: West Texas Crude
President Zelenskiy signed the law banning the return of bankrupt banks to their owners. Designed to block Ihor Kolomoisky and his business partners from winning back PrivatBank, the bill had been a key demand of the IMF since September. “This is our final ‘goodbye’ to bankrupt zombie banks!” Zelenskiy said, alluding to the nearly 100 banks that failed in the 2014-2015 crisis. “The law prohibits the return of bankrupt banks to their owners. The court will not have the right to make such a decision.”
PrivatBank will transfer almost $1 billion to Ukraine’s state budget this year from its 2019 profits. Now owned by the state, Ukraine’s largest bank increased its assets by 11.4% last year to 310 billion hryvnia, or $11.7 billion. In December 2016, when the state took PrivatBank away from Kolomoisky, it had a hole of $5.5 billion.
In Washington, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that the IMF and Ukraine are “discussing the parameters of the new Standby program.” Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has said he hopes that Ukraine will receive the first tranche – $1.9 billion – by this Friday.
Ukraine needs to borrow this year the hryvnia equivalent of $17 billion, Minister Marchenko tells NV in a lengthy interview. He calculates Ukraine will receive about one third of that in soft loans from international financial institutions. Most of the rest will come through rolling over existing domestic debt and selling new hryvnia bonds. Although yields on Ukraine’s sovereign bonds have receded to pre-crisis levels, he said he wants to avoid placing new eurobonds during the second half of this year.
“Ukraine’s Frontier Market Risks ‘Lost Year’ as Virus Takes Toll” headlines a Bloomberg story on the reticence of foreign investors to return to the Ukraine market this year. “Overseas holdings of Ukrainian domestic notes have fallen to the lowest since November, despite an expected deal with the International Monetary Fund, interest rate cuts and rising currency reserves,” Bloomberg reports from Kyiv and Moscow.
Tim Ash writes from London: “Illiquidity is now the biggest constraint. When investors wanted to sell at the peak of the crisis they could not and were locked into their positions. So to be invested you have to accept that risk and really love the Ukraine story as when push comes to shove you cannot sell.”
The number of Ukraine’s IT specialists registered as self-employed increased by 22% last year, hitting 183,000. DOU calculates that one third of this growth was in Kyiv City and Region, already home to 30% of the IT workers, largely programmers. The 56,000 self-employed IT workers in Kyiv City and Region is almost equal to the sum of the new three regions: Kharkiv, Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk.
Office rents will drop, vacancies will spread in shopping centers, and several hotels will fail, the Kyiv Post reports in a survey of the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on commercial real estate in Ukraine. The mass experience of remote working is softening demand for office space, prompting at least two business center projects to be abandoned. On the upside, the big increase in e-commerce means that construction continues on major warehouse projects on Kyiv’s Ring Road.
Ukraine’s migration from cash to card accelerated during the first quarter, reports the National Bank of Ukraine. The number of transactions was up by 24.5% q-o-q, to 1.4 billion. The amount of money was up by 15.6%, to $34 billion. Ukrainians have 69 million payment cards, more that double the nation’s adult population. Contactless cards are increasingly popular, hitting 9 million at the end of March – 16% over the January level.
The first ever shipment of West Texas Intermediate oil is being pumped ashore at Odesa’s Oil Harbor. The 76,000 tons of BP oil is destined for Ukraine’s sole working refinery, in Kremenchuk, for refining into gasoline. US oil exports to Ukraine started last July with a shipment of Bakken oil, originally from North Dakota. Over the last year, Ukraine has received three shipments of Bakken oil, totaling 250,000 tons. Similarly, the first ever shipment of US oil to Belarus is to arrive in early June in Klaipeda, Lithuania for shipment by rail to Belarus for refining.
Ukrainian Railways reversed its performance from last year, recording a $260 million loss in the first quarter. Pulling down performance, freight fell 4.8% y-o-y and the hryvnia devalued by 15.6% in the first quarter.
Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy writes: “With such troubles, the company may face a liquidity deficit of about UAH 16 bln [$600 million] in 2020, including the need for repayment of UAH 11 bln [$415 million] in debt. Taking into account such data, the Infrastructure Ministry suggested that the cabinet reduce its dividend appetite from Ukrainian Railways to 30% of 2019 net income.”
Cargo volumes for the first four months of 2020 fell by 15% compared to the same period last year, reports the State Statistics Service. The biggest drop was the 73% fall in volumes moved by pipeline, reflecting lowered Russian gas shipments across Ukraine. Rail cargo amounted to 97 million tons, 92.5% of the same period last year. Rail accounted for slightly more than half of the 185 million tons moved January-April of this year.
Hennadiy Chyzhykov has been reelected for another five years term as president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the nation’s largest business group. The chamber has 8,000 company members, representing 70% of Ukraine’s exports. In a video congress on Tuesday, delegates approved the chamber’s mission: creating conditions for business development, opening new markets for Ukrainian exports, and promoting the integration of Ukrainian business in the global economy.
- Goal: $7 billion in New Investments by Spring 2022
- Georgian Tapped To Work His Batumi Magic in Ukraine
- Rada About to Legalize Hotel Gambling
- Hotel Dnipro to Privatized This Summer
- Zelenskiy-the-Builder Mulls Second Term
- 66 Road Crossings with EU Re-opened
- Air Flights to Start June 15
In only the second press conference of his one-year-old presidency, Zelenskiy yesterday repeatedly talked about business. Highlights:
$7 billion in 18 months is the investment goal for a new, unified Ukraine investment office that President Zelenskiy plans to open in September.
Levan Varshalomidze, the Georgian politician who transformed Batumi during his eight years as Governor of Adjara region, will direct this new investment office, Zelenskiy announced yesterday. During the 1990s, Varshalomidze studied at Kyiv State University, where he met Mikheil Saakashvili. As governor under Saakashvili, he converted Batumi, a backwater Black Sea port, into a glittering international tourism and gambling destination with direct flights to 21 foreign cities.
A bill to legalize gambling in Ukraine could pass the Rada this week, David Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People faction, tells Interfax-Ukraine. With gambling largely illegal in Belarus, Poland, Russia and Turkey, the opening of hotel casinos in Ukraine is expected to stimulate international tourism.
Kyiv’s landmark Dnipro Hotel is to be the first this year’s ‘big’ privatization with a $10 million starting price at this summer’s auction. Zelenskiy said all state-owned hotels are to be “legally cleared” and sold at auctions. He said Centrenergo will be sold in the second half of this year. While ‘big’ sales were suspended due to market turbulence during the coronavirus epidemic, ‘small’ privatizations continued, working toward a 2020 sales target of $220 million.
To encourage more foreign and domestic investment, Ukraine is lowering its ‘investment nanny’ threshold from $100 million to $30 million, Zelenskiy told reporters yesterday. In coming days, the Rada will receive a bill to create the position of ‘investment nanny’ – a man or woman empowered to cut red tape to advance investment projects.
President Zelenskiy is looking for $3 billion to restore Ukraine’s bridges – the same amount as this year’s massive road construction budget. As he spoke, a tractor trailer loaded with steel pipes crashed through a bridge built in 1954 over an arm of the Kakhovka Reservoir, in Dnipropetrovsk Region. “The structure collapsed exactly during the statement of Vladimir Zelenskiy at a press conference about plans to repair the bridges,” Nashe Misto reported from the scene. “Locals are outraged by the collapse of the only crossing. A highway of national importance is paralyzed.”
Citing his infrastructure rebuilding plan, President Zelenskiy is considering running for a second term. “One term won’t be enough to complete the whole list” of tasks, he said yesterday. He added that he wants to be remembered as the president who rebuilt Ukraine’s road network. Last year, Zelenskiy campaigned on a promise to lead for just one term. In a poll conducted this month by the Rating Group, 31% of respondents considered his first year good or excellent, 37% satisfactory and 31% unsatisfactory.
With an overhang of tens of thousands of unsold new apartments in Kyiv, Zelenskiy vowed to drive down mortgage rates to 10% “in the near future.” Six months ago, seven banks offered mortgage loans with developers at rates of 19-20% for up to 20 years up to the hryvnia equivalent of $75,000. The National Bank of Ukraine predicts that mortgage rates could fall to 15% this year, roughly twice the prime rate. Banks are reluctant to issue mortgages largely due to weak creditor rights.
A capital amnesty bill will be submitted to the Rada by the end of this year. The bill would levy a one time tax on unexplained assets – from real estate to bank accounts. “Zelenskiy stressed that it is necessary to turn the page of Ukrainian history so that everyone in Ukraine would like to be a taxpayer,” Ukrinform reported from the press conference.
In April, at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, Foxtrot’s online store quadrupled its turnover y-o-y, reports Kirill Popov-Cherkasov, e-commerce director for the company. In April, 8.5 million visits were recorded at the website of Foxtrot, which specializes in home appliances.
By this weekend, Ukraine will fully restore road traffic with Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov reported at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. In all, 66 border crossings are to reopen. Border crossings will remain closed with Russia, which bars foreigners from entering due to Covid pandemic. Crossings are limited with Belarus, which has a far higher infection rate than Ukraine.
Starting tomorrow, international and interregional bus travel is allowed, Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy says on Telegram. Exceptions are regions with high rates of coronavirus infection, such as Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk and Rivne. Intercity – and possibly international – rail travel is to start June 1. Through June, people entering Ukraine have to go through 2-week self-quarantine, enforced by monitoring through the smartphone Diia app.
June 15 is the target date for restoring scheduled international flights. “Arrivals and departures of passenger aircraft will be relaunched from June 15,” the Infrastructure Minister wrote on Telegram.
At Lviv, Ukraine’s busiest regional airport, several airlines are ready to start flights, airport director Tatyana Romanovskaya tells Lviv portal. Windrose is ready to fly Lviv-Kyiv Boryspil. Wizz Air, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines and Belavia also are ready to fly. “A number of our carriers are ready to resume flights even today,” she says. “Now the main thing is the specific date for the resumption of passenger flights from our government.” Last year, passenger traffic through Lviv grew by 39% to 2.2 million.
- IMF Deal in May, Eurobonds in Summer?
- US Grand Jury Looks at Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank-Cleveland Pipeline
- Ukrposhta to Become European Style Postal Savings Bank
- Beaches, Gyms and Big Stores Open This Weekend
- Kyiv Metro Reopens
The Rada cleared the way to an IMF deal, easily voting down two bills that would have nullified the ‘anti-Kolomoisky’ banking bill.
Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy writes: “Now we expect that President Zelenskiy will sign the bill as soon as possible and the IMF board will schedule a meeting to approve the new loan program for Ukraine…It’s very likely now that Ukraine will get multi-billion-dollar financial support from the IMF, the E.U., the World Bank and some Western governments. Consequently, Ukraine’s short-term sovereign default risk is extremely low. This opens up an opportunity for Ukraine to tap the debt markets with a new Eurobond placement in the early summer.”
The Finance Ministry cut yields across the board yesterday in its weekly auction of government bonds. Yields for three-month hryvnia securities fell from 11.3% to 10.5%; for six-month hryvnia securities, from 11.3% to 11% per annum; and for seven-month dollar bonds, from 3.5% to 3.4% per annum. After a long break, the Ministry offered nine- and 12-month hryvnia government bonds. Their cut-off rates were 11% and 10.97% per annum, respectively.
A US federal grand jury in Cleveland is investigating massive money laundering of PrivatBank deposits into US real estate by Ihor Kolomoisky, reports BuzzFeed News. In a five year spending spree that ended around the time of the 2014 Maidan, Kolomoisky and his partners reportedly became the largest commercial real estate investors in Cleveland, owning 2.8 million square feet, including “a 484-room, luxury hotel in Cleveland with lakefront views and a 21-story office tower…with vaulted ceilings and murals that once featured the largest bank lobby in the world.”
Federal agents have traveled multiple times to Ukraine — including in February — where they met with Ruslan Riaboshapka, then Prosecutor General and investigators from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine to discuss the case, reports BuzzFeed. The next month Riaboshapka was fired and a movement started to fire Artem Sytnyk, head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. The IMF has made clear that retaining Sytnyk is a condition for the aid deal.
Last weeks vote upholding the ‘anti-Kolomoisky’ banking bill is the latest setback for the oligarch who one year ago was Zelenskiy’s primary media backer in the presidential campaign, reports Bloomberg. The blocking of Kolomoisky from PrivatBank erodes his defense against lawsuits in Britain, the US and Cyprus demanding a total of $10 billion. The coronavirus pandemic has also cut the value of his investments in metals plants and Ukraine International Airlines. On the political side, Dmytrov Boyarchuk director of economic-research company Case Ukraine tells Bloomberg: “Evidently, the president is trying to distance himself from him.”
Over the last five years, one third of Ukraine’s bank branches have closed. Today, there are branches in only 6% of Ukraine’s settlements and ATM machines in only 30%. About half of Ukrainians over 60 do not have access to banking facilities.
Economic disruption caused by the fight against coronavirus will add 6 to 9 million people to the population of poor people in Ukraine, estimates UNICEF. This year, the portion of Ukrainians living in poverty will increase from 27% to 43-51%.
“There is no reason why Ukraine cannot become at least as prosperous as neighboring Poland over the next decade,” Mikheil Saakashvili, chairman of President Zelenskiy’s new National Reform Council, writes in an Atlantic Council blog: ‘Why I am Optimistic Georgia’s Reforms Can Change Ukraine.’ “As in Georgia before, much of Ukraine’s economic and political dysfunction stems from the Soviet legacy. When sprawling bureaucracy and regulatory regimes are eliminated, so are opportunities for graft. Corrupt officials, criminal authorities, and their lackeys in the civil service are all starved of illicit income. In this way, patronage networks that have persisted since Soviet times finally collapse.”
Last Sunday, 62% of Ukraine’s restaurants had reopened. Business had crept up to about half of pre-crisis turnover, estimates Poster, the restaurant automation company. With the recovery weak, a newly formed national restaurant association calls for capping rents at 10% of turnover, according to Taras Seredyuk, founder and co-owner of the Mafia restaurant chain.
Prime Minister Shmyhal predicts international flights will resume from Ukraine in June. Flights will resume selectively, he told Ukrainian TV, as Ukraine will coordinate closely with EU nations.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke to RBC-Ukraine about reopening Ukraine’s land borders: “We are absolutely liberal in this regard, but we will take into account two factors: the first – how partners open the border, and the second – the real situation with the pandemic in Ukraine. But no one is going to keep Ukrainians under lock and key, we have no such ideas.”
Flights between Georgia and Ukraine should resume July 1, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy said after a video call with Georgia’s Economy Minister Natela Turnava.
To varying degrees, southern European countries are preparing to open their tourist destinations for the summer season, Western media report. Despite the continued threat of the coronavirus, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy are drawing up sanitary rules designed to save their annual tourism high season while protecting public health.
- Bond Yields Back to Normal
- Q1 GDP Drop
- Business Hotels on Hard Times
- Air Travel Re-Starts — Outside Ukraine
With an IMF deal seeming certain, yields on Ukraine’s shortest Eurobonds have returned to normal, falling below yields on longer bonds. “Investors now expect that the next repayment will take place on schedule,” Vitaliy Sivach, ICU group trader, tells Interfax-Ukraine. “The curve returned to normal, which indicates the healthy state of the financial sector of the country.” Last week, the yield of Eurobonds with repayment in September fell by 4.5 percentage points- to 6.8%.
The Finance Ministry is offering longer hrvynia bonds at the weekly auction today. In addition to last week’s ‘short’ bonds of 3- and 6-month tenures, the Ministry will offer government bonds of 9- and 12-month maturities.
The European Council is expected to approve a €1.2 billion loan to Ukraine to address the economic and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. As approved Friday by the European Parliament, the loan is part of €3 billion in macro financial aid to EU neighbors. Issued in one year in two tranches, the loan is repayable in 15 years.
Ukraine’s GDP fell in the first quarter by 1.5% y-o-y, reports the State Statistics Service. This is slightly worse than the Economy Ministry’s forecast last week of a a 1.2% fall. The National Bank of Ukraine says the current quarter will be the worst of the year – a 11.3% drop. The central bank then forecasts: Q3 – 5.3%; Q4 – 2.3%; all of 2020 – 5%.
Upper end business hotels — such as the Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Radisson and Premier Palace – may only return to 2019 room rates and occupancies in 2023, experts of consulting company Cushman & Wakefield predicted at a webinar on property trends. With a second wave of coronavirus predicted to return in the fall, many hotels may decide to stay closed until the spring of 2021, said Yana Lytvynchuk, head of valuations at Cushman. Room rates could drop to $120 in the first year of recovery, increasing to $164 by 2024. “Hotels operating on recreation and focused on internal tourism will recover much faster,” Lytvynchuk said, according to Interfax-Ukraine.
UIA has suspended sales of international tickets until July 1, Yevheniy Dykhne, president of the airline, writes on his Facebook page. Factoring the EU’s barriers to travel by non-EU residents with “the general economic condition of [Ukraine’s] population,” he concludes: “Our forecast is deplorable.” He predicts that medium haul flights will be the first to return. But, overall, the aviation market will only return to the level of 2019 in 2023.
Ukraine’s airlines are losing a total of $25 million a month during the coronavirus lockdown, Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy calculates in an interview with the online publication Bukva. Monthly losses include: Lviv airport – $1.5 million; Boryspil Airport – $4 million; and UkSATSE – $8 million. The Ministry is negotiating with Egypt, Georgia and Turkey to restore charter flights from Ukraine, Ministry spokeswoman Oksana Gerasimov tells RBC-Ukraine.
Turkey is negotiating with 70 countries the resumption of international tourism, reports Hürriyet Daily News, the English language Istanbul newspaper. With the company planning to restart the tourism season on May 28, the government is promoting awareness of the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s “certificate of healthy tourism.”
Although the Ukraine’s government has yet to announce when Ukraine’s airports will reopen, five airlines have scheduled to restart flights to Ukraine. They are: Lufthansa — June 1; Czech Airlines — June 3; airBaltic — June 10; Swiss — June 21; and Wizz Air — July 1. In the first half of June, Lufthansa Group airlines — Lufthansa, Swiss, Eurowings — plans to resume flights to 106 German and European destinations.
Setting the bar at one coronavirus infection per 4,000 people, Estonia is barring until June 7, flights from Belarus, Russia, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and Turkey. Using that measure, Estonia places no restrictions on flights from Germany, Poland, Norway, Austria, Latvia and Lithuania without restrictions. Ukraine’s rate is 1 infection/2,000 people. Rates of infection often reflect the amount of testing.
Last week, Austria returned domestic intercity schedules and routes to normal. By early June, Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) plans to restore international trains where possible.
Last week, Latvia’s airBaltic restores flights from Riga to Tallinn, Vilnius and 11 other EU capitals. Last weekend, Latvia restored bus and rail service to its Baltic neighbors.
All dressed up with nowhere to go: After a decade of work and 700,000 tons of concrete, Odesa airport’s 2,800 meter, extra thick runway is ready to welcome long haul jets. Concrete was laid by an American Gomaco GP4 paver, using the same technology as at Chicago’s O’Hare and at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Odesa is preparing for the Black Sea summer season, but it is not known when Odesa airport will reopen.
About 40 embassies and consulates have renewed operations in Kyiv, reports Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. Many, including the British, German, Israeli, Latvian, and Netherlands embassies, require electronic registration for appointments.
The original English version is from our partner UBN – Ukraine Business News. For more information and news archive, go to: www.ubn.news.
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