The chairman of the supervisory board of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), Aron Mayberg, believes that liberalization of air links between Ukraine and the European Union will benefit the UIA more than foreign air carriers. Mayberg stated this in an interview with Novoye Vremya.
"Open Skies is a necessary condition for the progress of civil aviation, but it is not enough. Today, the absence of this agreement does not constrain foreign companies. It constrains Ukrainian players more. I can tell you that Open Skies will give the UIA more than any foreign company," said Mayberg.
According to him, the UIA already flies to all destinations simultaneously with major European airlines.
"Thanks to Open Skies, the UIA will be able to develop western markets for itself. For example, demand has fallen in Ukraine today – one Western company has stopped flying, another has closed its office, but we cannot. The UIA needs to fly, grow its business, and we can do this only on the Ukrainian market. When the Open Skies agreement enters into full effect, the UIA will also be able to diversify its risks and develop its business outside Ukraine in the same way. I am looking forward to Open Skies joyfully and impatiently," he said.
As reported, the UIA’s President Yurii Miroshnikov opposed the signing of the agreement on Common Aviation Area between Ukraine and the European Union (the Open Skies agreement) in 2013, justifying his position by saying that the concept of a flagship airline was appropriate.
In May 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko Poroshenko issued a directive authorizing Minister of Infrastructure Andrii Pyvovarskyi to sign the agreement on Common Aviation Area between Ukraine and the European Union. The official reason for the delay in signing the agreement is the 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.