The Kiev-Berlin return flight became the first of 12 new routes Ryanair, Europe's busiest carrier, announced from the Ukrainian capital. (Shutterstock/File)
Irish low-cost airline Ryanair began flying to Ukraine on Monday, launching a new route between Kiev and Berlin that will operate four times a week.
The Kiev-Berlin return flight became the first of 12 new routes Ryanair, Europe's busiest carrier, announced from the Ukrainian capital.
The low coster will also be flying from Kiev to Barcelona, Berlin, Bratislava, Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Krakow, London, Poznan, Stockholm, Vilnius, Warsaw and Wroclaw.
Some 635,000 customers would use the routes annually, Ryanair predicted in a statement.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the move.
"The countries of Europe are getting closer - one of the largest international low-cost airlines Ryanair began flights from Ukraine," Poroshenko wrote on Facebook.
Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan echoed him, calling the event "one of the most important for Ukraine's airspace in recent years."
Several foreign low-budget airlines are already present in Ukraine.
But the arrival of the no-frills Irish carrier is expected to be a boon for the country, making fares cheaper and boosting its battered tourism sector.
Ukraine, which in 2013-2014 saw a pro-EU revolt, is still struggling to end a conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country.
It is trying to get its tourism industry back on track, after the number of travellers to Ukraine plummeted because of the unrest.
In March 2017, Ryanair said it would enter Ukraine with four new routes departing from Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands.
But in July last year it abandoned the plans, claiming that Kiev's airport had not fulfilled pledges made as part of an unspecified "growth agreement".