The war in Ukraine has undoubtedly caused worldwide concern for the country and its citizens. As a global aviation provider, Avia Solutions Group (ASG), our subsidiary companies, and our employees, have been deeply moved by the unimaginable events that are currently taking place in Ukraine.
ASG, along with our wider business group, are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine. Our business leaders, together with our wider workforce, are going above and beyond to assist with the international humanitarian aid movement. With many of our personnel in the Baltic states, the reality of the crisis is extremely close to us ― not only in proximity, but in our hearts and minds.
Following Russia’s military action against Ukraine, ASG responded immediately by providing €300,000 worth of financial and supplementary aid to both government and NGO’s supporting Ukraine. ASG has also extended financial support in the form of a €100,000 benevolent fund, with the full sum attributed to Ukrainian and Lithuanian organizations who are fully committed to the humanitarian crisis developing in the country as well as the refugees affected.
ASG are also working closely with Caritas, particularly with the growing concern for Ukrainian refugees and unemployment. As a result, we have committed to actively recruiting personnel from Ukraine as a matter of urgency. FL Technics have already begun the recruitment process for MRO ground support roles for Ukraine nationals, whilst SmartLynx are calling for all Ukrainian cabin crew and aviation professionals to join them in Riga ― where they will be supported with all the relevant documentation required to do so.
BAA Training has also opened up a number of roles to Ukrainian refugees who are now residing in Lithuania, whilst their team have also donated funds, blood, clothing, and provided accommodation through numerous Lithuanian NGOs supporting Ukraine.
Our colleagues at JETMS and FL Technics have already provided transportation to deliver aid shipments to the border of Ukraine and Poland, where they were received by Ukrainian representatives to distribute. On the return journey, FL Technics were also able to transport refugees from the border and bring them back to Lithuania where they could seek asylum.
With the closure of Ukrainian airspace to commercial aircraft, many Ukrainians are unable to return to their homeland. In response, ACMI operator, Avion Express, are offering seats and on-flight meals free of charge, as well as tax-free return flights to Vilnius from such holiday destinations as Egypt.
BGS Rails, who have offices in Ukraine, have been meticulous in their endeavors to support the Ukrainian armed forces, providing fully supplied refueling trucks for the soldiers to utilize in their defensive duties. One senior member of staff has even left his apartment for Ukrainian soldiers to use as a vantage point and a place to rest, while KlasJet have donated blankets to Ukrainian troops, with temperatures in the region dropping frequently below zero. Furthermore, BGS Rails employees have also had 2-month advances on their salaries for those who feel it’s their duty to support the crisis on the ground.
Aviation software specialists, Sensus Aero, have also set up their own blue and yellow fundraising initiative, whilst employees across the group have taken personal action in gathering supplies and accepting Ukrainian refugees in their homes ― a truly noble and commendable act of kindness. Most recently, the LOOP Hotel ran a charitable event to support Ukraine, with 30% of the proceeds going to the crisis support foundation.
We are truly humbled by the dedication of our employees at all levels across the wider ASG business group, and our efforts will continue, until peace is restored in Ukraine. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing humanitarian support effort, please visit https://www.blue-yellow.lt/en/ .
Outside the ASG offices in Vilnius, the bull has always represented the strength of not only ASG, but the aviation industry in times of crisis. We are honored to light this symbol of unity in the colours of Ukraine ― their courage at this time is constantly in our thoughts.