A welcome reintroduction of flights between Kiev and Ljubljana Brnik has been announced, linking Slovenia with a potentially lucrative market of Ukraine’s 45 million citizens who last benefited from a direct air link between the two countries in 2011.

Russian-backed separatist violence and the inevitable Ukrainian backlash stymied attempts in 2014 to reboot a Kiev Borispol – Ljubljana service, although some charter flights were operated by Dniproavia  – the airline slated to fly into Brnik – during recent winter seasons between Ukraine and Maribor, allowing visitors from the former Soviet republic to patronize eastern Slovenia’s many ever popular spa/wellness resorts.

Despite a thrice-weekly seasonal service scheduled to commence in late June and Ukraine’s large population of potential visitors being afforded visa-free travel, a surprisingly small Embraer E145 aircraft is expected to fly between Kiev and the Slovenian capital. Although it is wise to be initially cautious when (re)introducing a new route there could be many disappointed Ukrainians(and perhaps Slovenians wishing to travel the other way) who will miss out on tickets – a return costing from €120. Adria have previously intimated a desire to reconnect Brnik with Borispol; at the moment it is though unclear if Dniproavia have beaten Slovenia’s flag carrier to the punch or will simply run in tandem with a future service from Adria more tailored towards the Slovenian traveller. There is undoubtedly great potential for a year round route between the two countries, although astute marketing will be required to link specific demographics with the aforementioned spa facilities, alpine and coastal resorts, and city breaks in Maribor and Ljubljana. The vastness of Ukraine allows potential connections with a host of cities, including Kharkiv, Lviv, and Vinnytsia, now that the previous bilateral agreement between both countries to limit air travel to Ljubljana and Kiev has been scrapped. How enforceable such an accord is is though debatable, when one considers previous winter charter services that operated between Ukraine and Maribor’s Edvard Rusjan Airport.

Source material and further information: http://www.exyuaviation.com/2017/04/dniproavia-to-launch-kiev-ljubljana.html