VALETTA, MALTA — Ukrainian budget carrier, SkyUp Airlines, has expanded its operations into the European Union with the establishment of a Maltese division, branded as SkyUp MT. 

The newly-formed entity has already obtained an air operator's certificate and other necessary regulatory approvals.

To mark its inaugural presence in Malta, SkyUp has transferred a 189-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, formerly UR-SQM, to the Maltese registry as 9H-SAU. This jet has an interesting history, having been initially delivered to Flydubai in 2011 and later operated by South African carrier, Comair.

According to SkyUp, the establishment of the Maltese branch will facilitate the fulfilment of wet-lease contracts. Additionally, it paves the way for the airline to commence scheduled services from various European locations.

SkyUp's CEO, Dmytro Syeroukhov, who is also overseeing SkyUp MT, expressed his excitement about the expansion. He stated, "The Ukrainian brand SkyUp, which has significantly transformed domestic civil aviation within five years of operation, is now accessible in EU countries."

The airline has also revealed plans to introduce more aircraft to SkyUp MT later this year. These won't come from the Ukrainian SkyUp fleet but will instead be procured under new agreements from different sources.

Reflecting on this development, SkyUp co-owner Oleksandr Alba noted that the move represented an opportunity for growth and business scaling. He expressed the company's ambitious aspiration, stating, "Our ambitious goal is to show the entire world that Ukrainian brands can compete with European brands."