The new deal is likely to result in more flights between Ukraine and the EU, and it is even possible that there will be cheaper tickets.
The European Council yesterday announced that the EU is ready to sign the ‘open skies’ agreement with Ukraine and two other countries, enhancing cooperation between the parties. The announcement has been long underway and will make it easier to fly between Ukraine and the EU if it is signed and implemented.
“The Council is now ready to sign four important aviation agreements that will improve market access for airlines and enhance connectivity and freedom of movement for citizens. At the same time, they will ensure the highest level of safety and security and provide for a level playing field,” said Pedro Nuno Santos, the President of the Council.
The European Council greenlighted ‘open skies’ agreements with Ukraine, Armenia, and Tunesia and an air transport agreement with Qatar.
The press release stated that the new agreements will “open up the air transport market, offering new opportunities for both consumers and operators. Through more efficient connectivity, they will promote trade, tourism, investment, and economic and social development.” The agreement will remove market restrictions concerning flight traffic to align themselves with the EU’s internal aviation market and rules.
The @EUCouncil has approved the Common Aviation Area Agreement (Open Skies Treaty) between the EU & Ukraine.
Starting later this year, Ukraine will be part of common European skies, with more routes & bound by EU passenger rights, environmental protection & aviation security.
— Oleksiy Sorokin (@mrsorokaa) June 28, 2021
It still needs to be signed
Ukraine is, however, not yet part of the EU’s ‘open skies’. Firstly, some application procedures need to be finished, but the statement by the European Council is the formal acceptance of Ukraine into the EU’s ‘open skies’ agreement. All Scandinavian countries are members of the EU’s ‘open skies’ deal, aiming to make air traffic more simple within the union and the countries that it cooperates with.
“The agreement will allow our citizens to get cheaper tickets & expand the geography of travel. Its signing will be another step towards entering the single European space,” wrote the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitter, according to UBN.
It is expected that the ‘open skies’ deal with Ukraine will be signed in autumn 2021, whereafter it will need to be ratified by each EU member state. The negotiations with Ukraine were already completed in 2013, but due to a conflict between the UK and Span over the airport’s status in Gibraltar, the signing of the agreement was blocked.