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IATA praises Russia for progress made in aviation; notes huge potential

21-Jun-2011 7:39 AM

IATA praised (20-Jun-2011)  Russia for progress made in aviation and encouraged the Russian Minister of Transport, Igor Levitin, to take further action on three critical issues: ensuring that the Russian fleet complies with standards set by ICAO, becoming more vocal in opposing Europe’s plans to include international aviation in its emissions trading scheme, and eliminating discriminatory pricing for airport and air navigation service charges. Details of the priorities are as follows: 

  • Improved Safety: IATA praised Russia for progress made on safety. The 13 largest Russian carriers are all on the IOSA Registry and none of the IOSA registered carriers has recorded an accident with loss of life over the last three years. However, Mr Bisignani noted that "safety concerns remain with the continued operation of some Russian-built equipment that does not comply with ICAO standards". He urged the Federal Air Transport Authority to ensure compliance of all the Russian fleet with ICAO standards”; 
  • European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS): Mr Bisignani encouraged Russia to be more vocal in its opposition to Europe’s plans to include international aviation in the EU ETS. “Europe’s plan could not be more wrong. It contravenes the Chicago Convention which prohibits such taxation and it goes against the Kyoto protocol which gives ICAO the responsibility to manage aviation’s international emissions. And, it is an extra-territorial action that will distort markets. Europe cannot be the sheriff policing emissions outside its political territory. We need a global solution for economic measures through ICAO, which Russia has strongly supported. I encourage Russia to join the growing chorus of countries — including China and the US — which have made their opposition very well known. Europe needs to understand that imposing EU ETS on sovereign states like Russia, China and the US could lead to consequences, not just for its airlines, but for the weak European economy,” Mr Bisignani said;
  • Eliminate so-called "discriminatory infrastructure charges": IATA urged the elimination of discriminatory pricing policies for airport and air navigation service providers. Currently, foreign carriers are charged more than their Russian domestic counterparts for use of Russia’s aviation infrastructure. “It is time to abandon this practice and focus on cost efficiency with effective economic regulation and equal charges for all airlines,” Mr Bisignani said. [more -Press Release] [more - Speech]

Mr Bisignani also stated that 2010 was the best year for modern Russian Aviation, with Russian carriers transporting over 57 million passengers, a 26% year-on-year increase, and a 10% increase from 2008 levels. He added that this traffic growth is "leading to profits for several Russian carriers". 

IATA: "Aviation plays a key role in Russia. With such a vast geography, the connectivity that aviation makes possible is critical to Russia’s economic success. IATA’s mission in Russia is to help the aviation sector deliver even more value to Russia. The potential is huge. The 57 million passengers carried by all Russian carriers last year are less than half the 120 million carried by Aeroflot in Soviet times. I am convinced that the future is bright and full of potential, but Russia must use global standards to further improve safety, to defend its interests against unilateral European actions, and to ensure cost-efficient operations with airport and air navigation charges, that are compliant with ICAO principles,” Giovannia Bisignani, Director General and CEO. Source: Company Statement, 20-Jun-2011.

IATA: “The future is bright and full of potential. Today Russian aviation handles about 57 million passengers. That’s 10% more than in 2008, but still less than half the 120 million people who flew annually on Aeroflot in Soviet times. As Russian aviation continues to grow, it must further improve safety, defend its interests against unilateral European actions and ensure cost-efficient operations with airport and air navigation service charges that are compliant with ICAO principles. IATA is fully prepared to work hand in hand with the Russian Government on further strengthening Russian aviation,” Giovannia Bisignani, Director General and CEO. Source: Company Statement, 20-Jun-2011.