UIA Responds To Swissport's Claims Of Bias

Swissport`s latest press release dated September 10, 2013, and Mark Skinner, Swissport Vice-President, interviews contain deliberately misleading information aiming at exerting pressure on Ukrainian judicial authorities responsible for considering the case in question. Swissport makes efforts to lobby the interests of the private company by engaging the government, the press and the public into the economic dispute. Swissport also trades on EU leaders` names to obtain illegal judgment in the company`s favor.

Swissport cassation appeal is currently pending in the Superior Economic Court of Ukraine. The next hearing is scheduled on September 18, 2013. The cassation appeal case is not sealed yet. Thus, disseminating information on the court judgment for UIA (citing well-informed sources in Ukrainian judicial bodies) Swissport violates Ukraine`s anti-corruption law.

The charges of artificial trial protraction, as stated in the press release, are groundless since the court was forced to suspend the economic dispute consideration for over three months upon Swissport representatives` application. Spearheaded by Swissport court hearings in various judicial instances were adjourned eight times.

Allegations against UIA of diluting Swissport share in the companies` joint venture are also ungrounded. According to the court ruling adopted March 27, 2013, 100% of Swissport Ukraine share (hereinafter INTERAVIA) became UIA property. Thus, Swissport no longer holds interest in INTERAVIA.

UIA management states that all the actions the airline takes to resolve the conflict in question are dictated primarily by the carrier`s care about the passengers and are aimed at ensuring high-quality ground handling services standards. Swissport unwillingness to invest in the joint venture resulted in the handling services quality dramatic decline, notably at Kiev Boryspil International airport. Amounting approximately to 24000 UAH (3 thousand USD) Swissport shareholder fee rate did not allow the company to operate efficiently. Swissport Ukraine business strategy deficiency at the time when Swissport owned 70% of its interest led to grave consequences. UIA holds the letter of the former Swissport Ukraine CEO Vladimir Semenchenko referring to the pressing need for additional resources and the company`s reference performance failure.

To meet the existing challenge UIA invested 7993000 UAH (nearly 1 million USD) in INTERAVIA in July 2013. Thus, the equity capital stock has been increased up to 8019062.5 UAH.

"UIA was forced to make strategic decisions on providing INTERAVIA with organizational and financial backing straightaway, – noted Alexander Bobrovnikov, UIA Vice-President Corporate Affairs. – Invested funds were used to develop and strengthen INTERAVIA technical base. Moreover, UIA issued additional warrants for equipment acquisition”.

"INTERAVIA equity capital increase allowed raising additional human and organizational resources. Late August 2013 the company`s staff amounted to 1.150 persons outnumbering analogous figures of August 2012 by 60%. We purchase needed equipment – the company has already concluded contracts for delivery of special-purpose machinery worth over 12 million UAH, – noted Alexander Suraev, INTERAVIA CEO.

Swissport also gave false color to the information of Swissport Ukraine three managers` employment termination. Swissport CEO left INTERAVIA to join Swissport International stating he had been offered attractive contract terms, and that management options and benefits outside Ukraine earned during his employment in Swissport were valid only if he stays in the company.

UIA and INTERAVIA consider the abovementioned Swissport statements in the press to be an attempt to intervene directly in their business activities. Such disinformation calls upon denting Ukraine International Airlines unblemished reputation which has been developed for over 20 years of UIA successful operation on Ukrainian and European aviation markets. Attempts to exert pressure upon the carrier`s management with regard to decide the controversy of UIA and Swissport are being made by various structures. However, UIA corporate policy allows for dealing with any disputable issues inside the legal environment only, without employing any administrative pressure methods. UIA lawyers will definitely assess the innuendoes thrown out against UIA from a legal viewpoint.

UIA and INTERAVIA management is convinced that the statements expressed in the Swissport press release disputing competence of the judicial system of Ukraine, undermine our country`s creditability, decrease its investment appeal, and are truly capable of harming Ukraine`s national interests.