The Ukrainian-Mediterranean Airlines (UM Air) has complained that the State Aviation Service is exerting pressure on it on behalf of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), the CFTS portal’s correspondent reports.

"According to protocol, each side is permitted to operate four flights on this route (the Kiev-Tehran route). The Iranian side is not operating flights. We submitted documents for increase of our number of flights on this route. The Ministry of Infrastructure’s commission gave us these flights – two flights per week. At the same time, they refused to allocate flights to UIA because of its debt to the state. However, Mr. Antoniuk (the State Aviation Service’s head Denys Antoniuk) refused to comply with the commission's decision to grant us the additional flights. We have been requesting permission for a second flight since July. The Iranian department has limited the number of flights for UIA, allowing it two flights and allowing us two. The State Aviation Service of Ukraine sent the Iranian authorities a notification stating that it has reallocated the flights and granted three to UIA and one to us," UM Air’s Chairman Rodrigue Elias Merhej told reporters.

He added that the intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Iran provides for selecting one carrier from each country and granting them the right to perform four flights per week.

"The State Aviation Service decided to select UIA as the second carrier on this route. This fundamentally violates the international agreements between Ukraine and Iran. Firstly, this requires talks to be held with the Iranian side, the relevant amendments to be made to the intergovernmental agreement, and passage through the parliaments of both countries. After that, they become valid," he said.

As a result, according to him, UM Air’s Kiev-Tehran flight did not take place on November 17 because of a ban by the State Aviation Service.

However, the State Aviation Service’s head Denys Antoniuk told the Center for Transport Strategies that the UM Air airline company had the right to perform only one flight per week and that it acquired the right to the second flight via corrupt means, which was the reason for the ban.