A Common Aviation Area agreement between Ukraine and the European Union (the so-called Open Skies agreement) could be signed in July, Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian said during an infrastructure forum in Kyiv, the CFTS portal’s correspondent reports.
"We have the serious issue of signing the agreement with the European Union. We have a new date from Brussels – July 2016. This is the last date on which I will believe. After [that date] I will draw the EU's attention to the fact that it is necessary to keep one's word," he said.
As reported, the European Union is expected to adopt a decision to abolish visas for short visits for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports in the summer, which, coupled with liberalization of air traffic, could lead to a rapid increase in the volume of air transport.
Talks on an agreement on establishment of a Common Aviation Area between Ukraine and the European Union began in 2006. The agreement was initialled in November 2013, but its signing has been delayed. The official reason for the delay in signing it is failure to agree the positions of Spain and the United Kingdom on the dispute over sovereignty over the territory in which the Gibraltar airport is situated.
The signing of the Open Skies agreement between Ukraine and the European Union is expected to liberalize the Ukrainian air transport market and allow European companies to operate freely in Ukraine and Ukrainian companies in Europe. The document will guarantee European low-cost airlines access to the Ukrainian market and guaranteed Ukrainian and European companies the right to operate flights between Ukraine and EU countries without intergovernmental approval of air routes.