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Ukraine and the European Union signed an Open skies Agreement: What does it mean for Ukrainians

Open Skies: Ukraine and the EU signed an Agreement. Photo: Unsplash / Johny Goerend

Open Skies: Ukraine and the EU signed an Agreement. Photo: Unsplash / Johny Goerend

Ukraine and the European Union signed a Common Aviation Area Agreement. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The document must be ratified by each EU member state and Ukraine. This is reported on the Facebook page of the Presidential Office.

Quote"After a period of eight years, a Common Aviation Area Agreement was finally signed. These are high flight safety standards, new opportunities for citizens and business, a greater number of flights, and a wider travel geography," Zelenskyy stated.

The Agreement lifts the market restrictions of Ukraine and binds it to the EU internal aviation market through imposing EU aviation standards and rules. Let us note that, according to the document, any EU country will be able to appoint any European carrier to operate flights to Ukraine. In addition, now European carriers have the right to fly on domestic Ukrainian flights.

Zelenskyy had previously stated that the agreement would allow Ukrainians to get cheaper tickets.

It should be noted that cheaper air tickets will be possible due to increased competition in markets that have restrictions (during the first stage of liberalization, all restrictions for Ukrainian and EU airlines on flights between any cities of Ukraine and the EU will be lifted). And after that the airlines will begin price rivalry. But it is noted that if a weak player leaves some line, the remaining participants can raise prices again to compensate for their previous losses.

Context. Negotiations between the European Union and Ukraine on a Common Aviation Area ended in 2013, but the signing of the Agreement was blocked due to the conflict between the UK and Spain on the status of Gibraltar airport. After Britain had left the EU, this problem ceased to exist.

The European Common Aviation Area (CAP) is a bilateral agreement between the EU and third countries on common safety standards and liberalization of market relations in the aviation sector. It is believed that this will allow for more efficient and safe use of the airspace.

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