Jonas Rask Eilersen
Ukraine Intl. B737 Business Class
Berlin Tegel - Kiev Boryspil Boeing 737-500 Business Class
25th September 2015

Ukraine International has had some really tough times – first battling it out with Aerosvit; the largest Ukrainian airline, which went bankrupt a couple of years ago – and now dealing with the Russian/Ukrainian situation. A number of ex-Aerosvit aircraft have now been taken over by UIA, and the airline is trying to establish itself as a long haul carrier flying to New York, Beijing and Bangkok. However, its core business remains European and Middle Eastern traffic.
RASK tried out UIA on a recent flight from Berlin to Kiev

Check In
Check-in was at Terminal C. Tegel is a horrible airport, its only saving grace is its short distance to the city centre. Check-in took only a few minutes: my boarding pass was issued without problems, and my bags dropped off. The contract staff here seemed clueless, however, and while friendly enough, nothing really made me feel “taken care of”
The Lounge
There is access to a lounge – but walking there would be a serious detour thanks to Tegel’s crazy layout. So I did not use it on this occasion. However, I know the GlobeGroundlounge - and it's barely acceptable.
It took forever to get through passport control, and the gate was about to close by the time I made it there. The gate personnel were very friendly, however. It was a short walk across the tarmac to the plane and then up the stairs. Really easy and quite enjoyable (although had it rained…not so great).
I was greeted warmly at the forward door and shown my seat, a window in the third row.
The Cabin, Seat and Service
The cabin was really quite worn, with a yellowish tinge.The dark blue pleather seats were clean and in quite good condition, ordered in a 3-3 configuration with the middle seats kept free. I had all three seats to myself. The legroom was standard. The cabin was half full. I was offered a drink the moment I sat down and chose champagne. This was served quickly and the hostess took my jacket. She was nice but did not have a very warm manner.
Food and Drink
I have no idea if the sparkling wine was champagne or what - but it was tasty and my glass seemed to replenish itself without waiting to be asked. Very shortly after take off, a meal was served. There was no choice, and in all honesty, it was perfectly fine – a salmon starter and a chicken main. I had a glass of red wine (Rioja), which was ok.
Inflight Entertainment
Two German newspapers and the Kiev Post (in English) as well as some Ukrainian dailies. Nothing special, but not too bad.
We arrived on time and were given priority disembarkation. As I was transiting onto another UIA flight (to Tel Aviv), I can’t comment on baggage delivery (though it did arrive on time in Tel Aviv); but I did notice how nice the new Terminal D at Boryspil Airport is. A great place to transfer).
It’s value for money, and the business class product of UIA is honestly, almost, just as good as Lufthansa or SAS for intra-European flights. Service was friendly, the meal tasty and the flight was reasonably comfortable. I’d fly UIA again without hesitation – although I wouldn’t seek them out over the competition.