15-Mar-2011 10:32 AM

EU reviewing infringements concerning bilateral aviation agreements with Russia

European Commission launched (14-Mar-2011) infringement procedures against several member states and is actively assessing the compliance with EU law of the remaining member states' bilateral aviation agreements with Russia. The Commission is concerned that these agreements may hinder competition, breach EU rules on freedom of establishment and provide a basis for Siberian overflight charges which may be illegal. EU airlines are also obliged to pay Siberian overflight charges for routes to many Asian destinations. With respect to Siberian overflight charges, EU carriers are de facto forced into agreements with their competitor, Aeroflot. In 2008 alone, EU carriers paid around USD420 million, most of it directly to Aeroflot. [more]

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