29-Nov-2013 8:23 AM

European Union and Ukraine sign air services agreement

European Union (EU) and Ukraine signed (28-Nov-2013) a comprehensive air services agreement, which will lead towards a "Common Aviation Area" between the EU and Ukraine. From IATA's summer season 2015, all EU and Ukrainian airlines will be able to operate unrestricted direct services between the EU and Ukraine. Carriers from both the EU and Ukraine will be granted fifth freedom rights after the second transitional period. Reciprocal majority ownership of carriers will also be allowed. Ukraine will maintain its certification responsibilities, with the EU "ready to recognise a number of Ukrainian certificates regarding air crew and air traffic management, subject to compliance with the corresponding EU standards." EU commissioner for mobility and transport Siim Kallas said: "The agreement reached in Vilnius today will allow the EU and Ukraine to become partners in aviation through gradual market integration. It is an important stepping stone for our strategy to achieve closer cooperation between the EU and its neighbours, particularly in the context of the Eastern Partnership." The EU added: "As a side industrial component and in view of Ukraine's strong interest to ensure in the long run that its aeronautical products are accepted in the EU, the Commission, Ukraine and the EASA will cooperate, via a specific arrangement, to promote the convergence of the Ukrainian certification system with the EU system. This will gradually allow approximation of the respective certification systems to the advantage of the respective aeronautical sectors. Convergence of certification systems could ultimately lead to considering the possibility of a BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) between the two sides, as EU has already concluded with the USA, Canada and Brazil." [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

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