Ukraine and the European Union sign Open Skies treaty

Written by Harry Johnson

The EU-Ukraine Open Skies Agreement must be ratified by Ukraine and each European Union member state in order to take effect.

  • The Common Civil Area Agreement is expected to open Ukraine up to more low-cost routs and boost tourism.
  • Currently, Ukraine has bilateral air service agreement with each European Union country.
  • New agreement with EU stipulates that restrictions on the number of flights will be lifted.

The European Union (EU) and Ukraine have signed a Common Aviation Area Agreement that will establish a joint aviation space, the Ukrainian presidential press service said.

The Common Civil Aviation Area Agreement, widely known as the Open Skies Treaty, is expected to open Ukraine up to more low-cost air routes and boost tourism, thanks to the mandatory implementation of European standards and rules in the field of air transportation. 

Currently, Ukraine has bilateral air services agreements with each EU country. They set restrictions on the number of carriers and weekly flights. This made it difficult for new carriers to enter popular flights.

The new agreement with the EU stipulates that restrictions on the number of carriers and flights will be lifted. Any air carrier will be able to fly along popular routes, not only monopolists. This means that low-cost airlines will get the opportunity to enter the market.

Ryanair, for one, has already announced an “aggressive expansion” in Ukraine once the country joins the Open Skies deregulated aviation market, with plans to open flights from 12 Ukrainian airports instead of the current 5, as well as opening domestic services.

Along with the new flights, passengers can expect more good news — ticket prices are expected to drop as a result of increased competition and an end to monopolies along popular destinations. As well, prices will be slashed due to the agreement granting the right to any aviation company to handle passengers in airports. 

Apart from passengers, Ukrainian regional airports are expected to reap benefits from the changes. They will receive more airplanes and have a larger passenger flow. This means that regional airports will have more chances for investments and development.

Another plus of the agreement for Ukrainian passengers is the introduction of European Union norms and standards in Ukrainian civil aviation. 

The signing ceremony was attended by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The agreement, inked at the 23rd Ukraine-EU Summit in Kiev, will open up the air markets of Ukraine and the EU and bolster air safety, air traffic, and environmental protection, the presidential press service said in a statement.

The EU-Ukraine Open Skies Agreement must be ratified by Ukraine and each European Union member state in order to take effect.

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