The District Administrative Court of Kyiv has postponed consideration of the dispute between Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the Atlasjet Ukraine airline, and the Ministry of Infrastructure over permission to operate flights to Istanbul to 30 September.

"The petition by the ministry and Atlasjet Ukraine to lift its injunction relating to the claim [filed by UIA] was denied. The court also refused to call witnesses because everything can be proven in writing. Nevertheless, we insisted on witnesses because we believe that the ministry or the State Aviation Service may not provide all of the documents. In that case, witnesses - members of the commission - would be able to explain how and why certain decisions were made and which documents the commission analyzed. They refused nevertheless, but they ordered the Ministry of Infrastructure and the State Aviation Service to provide all the documents related to the commission’s decisions that are being challenged and the documents that regulate the work of the commission," Andrii Huk, a senior Lawyer with the Marchenko-Danevych law firm, which represents the interests of Atlasjet Ukraine, told the Center for Transport Strategies.

At the same time, according to him, the court did not require UIA to provide evidence that it operated the declared 16 weekly flights from Kiev to Istanbul and seven weekly flights from Odessa to Tel Aviv.

"According to the court, this does not matter. However, commenting on this petition by Atlasjet Ukraine, the ministry said that it has filed with the court documents and explanations containing, among other things, information from the Boryspil airport stating that UIA did not perform 16 Kiev-Istanbul weekly flights. And this is the information as of the date of the meeting of the commission’s meeting," said Huk.

As reported, the licensing commission reduced UIA’s quota from 16 to 14 flights per week on the Kiev-Istanbul route and from seven to five flights per week on the Odessa-Tel Aviv route in July. The vacated slots were given to Atlasjet Ukraine, a subsidiary of the Atlasjet airline (Turkey).

However, UIA disagreed with the licensing commission’s decision and filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Infrastructure on August 12, asking the District Administrative Court of Kyiv to invalidate and cancel several provisions of the minutes of the commission’s meeting.