The State Aviation Administration’s head Denys Antoniuk has described the responses of various countries’ aviation authorities to Ukraine’s proposal to remove all restrictions on flights.
"A month ago, we sent a few dozen letters to various aviation authorities with the proposal to lift all restrictions on flights between the two countries. We wrote to Israel and Azerbaijan, France and Uzbekistan, Finland and Greece... Almost everywhere restrictions on flights exist (including many EU countries, those that have restrictions on flights). As of today, only Serbia has responded positively. The rest are either silent or – like the Thais or Azeris – said that their existing regimes were suitable and they did not want to change them. The French said that they were recommending to their airlines to refrain from expanding the geography of flights to Ukraine because Ukraine is not safe and therefore could not accept the proposal to lift the restrictions. The rest of the Europeans are nodding to the European Commission. The Chinese and Canadians are not nodding to anyone but simply remaining silent," Antoniuk wrote on his Facebook page.
A few weeks ago, Antoniuk wrote that he doubted the success of the experiment to liberalize air travel to Odessa and Lvov. "In Armenia, the experiment involving open skies did not bring anything special, and I assume that Odessa/Lvov will not have significant growth because the problem is not regulation but poverty and immobility of the population," Antoniuk wrote on his Facebook page.
As reported, the head of the State Aviation Administration was suspended from office on 1 July after a public altercation with the governor of the Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, who accused him of lobbying for the interests of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), which does not allow a competitive market to develop.
The Ministry of Infrastructure implemented the Common Aviation Area (open skies) regime between Ukraine and other countries at the Lvov international airport in April, and a similar experiment was later launched in Odessa, where a new terminal is under active construction.
The authorities took such direct steps on the aviation market after the European Union delayed the signing of the Common Aviation Area agreement 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 (Gibraltar is under British jurisdiction but Spain considers it a temporarily occupied territory).