Firm to charter free flights to return Ukrainian workers to Poland

At the end of March, thousands of Ukrainians queued at the Polish-Ukrainian border to enter Ukraine before the country closed its borders. Attila Balazs/PAP/EPA

A Ukrainian employment agency is launching free charter flights for Ukrainians hoping to return to Poland for work.

When the coronavirus epidemic reached Poland in March, Ukrainians and other foreign citizens were faced with the choice of whether to stay or go back to their home country, where many still have family, such as elderly parents or children.

At the end of March, thousands of Ukrainians queued at the Polish-Ukrainian border to enter Ukraine before the country closed its borders.

President of Gremi Personal, Evgenij Kirichenko, said: “We are seeing huge demand from Polish companies for employees from Ukraine.”Gremi Personal

Since then, some of the Ukrainians who left Poland has been returning.

According to Ukrainian press agency Ukrinform, around 175,000 Ukrainians had returned to Poland by the end of April.

For others who are still trying to return, recruitment agency Gremi Personal, which has 13 offices around Poland and specialises in recruitment from Ukraine and other countries to Poland’s east, is launching a series of free charter flights for workers.

Gremi Personal is responding to high demand: 67% of Ukrainians who left Poland due to the epidemiological situation want to return, according to a telephone survey conducted by the company.

According to Ukrainian press agency Ukrinform, around 175,000 Ukrainians have already returned to Poland.Kalbar/TFN

The company will arrange long-term work contracts and health insurance, and organise the 14-day quarantine that people entering Poland have to undergo to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“It's not about charter flights with seasonal workers. We are seeing huge demand from Polish companies for employees from Ukraine,” said the company’s owner Evgenij Kirichenko.

Kirichenko highlighted that some Ukrainians have been unable to return to Poland because of difficulties crossing the land border, while others have contacted the company to ask about vacancies in Poland, he added.

“Interest is obvious from both sides and we will try to satisfy it,” he added.