The airline chose the classic regional carrier model with two service classes: economy and premium economy. The base airport will be Kyiv (Zhuliany). The planes can also be based in regions like Chernivtsi, explains Vyacheslav Heriha, executive director of Air Ocean Airlines. According to him, AOA refused the low-cost model, as it is not suitable for the selected AN-148 aircraft. The first three AN-148s have a 75-seat layout. The remaining three airliners will accommodate 82-83 seats.
The average ticket price on a domestic flight will be $57 one way. However, there will also be promotional rates.
Air Ocean Airlines has already received permits for the routes of the air carrier:
This week, the airline plans to launch a full-fledged website and open ticket sales. The first commercial flight is scheduled for late November.
In developing the international network, the air carrier wants to rely on flights from small regional airports without ample supply. First of all, the airline will fly on domestic flights, connecting cities not only through Kyiv. The airline sees the economy in domestic flights because the selected aircraft is small and more accessible to fill than the 189-seat Boeing 737-800. AN-148 allows flights from most regional airports in Ukraine. The airline claims that these airliners have a good economy for 2-2.5 hour flights.
Ukrainian pilots will fly on the AN-148, says Heriha. The airline is retraining pilots for this aircraft, who previously flew on western airliners at UIA, Rose of Winds, Azur Air and already have flight experience.
The new air carrier is also considering receiving new AN-148 and AN-158 aircraft, which Antonov has partially assembled.
According to the top manager of the airline, the order from Air Ocean Airlines would allow the completion of airliners and the start of construction of new ones. The project aims to give a second life to Ukrainian aircraft and popularize them in other regions. Also, the airline does not exclude that over time, that foreign aircraft may appear in the fleet.