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Mobility and Transport
News article12 October 2021Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Aviation: EU and Ukraine sign milestone aviation agreement

The European Union and Ukraine today signed a comprehensive air transport agreement during the Ukraine-EU Summit in Kyiv. This Agreement opens the way for a ‘Common Aviation Area’ between the EU and Ukraine, based on common high standards in important areas such as aviation safety, security and air traffic management. It will foster market access and offer new opportunities for consumers and airlines on both sides.

Ukraine is an increasingly important aviation market for the EU. It was the 13th largest extra-EU market in 2019, with 9.8 million passengers.

European Commissioner Adina Vălean, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "The Agreement signed in Kyiv today will allow the EU and Ukraine to strengthen their partnership in aviation through gradual market integration. This is a key stepping-stone in our strategy to achieve closer cooperation between the EU and its neighbours. The agreement will generate more choice for the travelling public, new opportunities for the aviation industry, and better connectivity with new routes and destinations to the benefit of consumers, tourism and people-to-people contacts.”

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, said:“The conclusion of this Agreement will ensure that air operations in Ukraine are in line with the EU standards on aviation safety, air traffic management and aviation consumer protection. This Agreement will open up the air transport market, offering new opportunities for both consumers and operators. Through more efficient connectivity, it will promote trade, tourism, investment and economic and social development.”

Air transport for passengers, as well as for cargo between Ukraine and the EU, has been growing steadily in recent years. This trend was only interrupted during the COVID crisis. The agreement signed today aims to gradually open the respective aviation markets and integrate Ukraine into a wider European Common Aviation Area. Ukraine will further align its legislation with EU aviation rules and standards in areas such as aviation safety, air traffic management, security, the environment, economic regulation, competition, consumer protection and social aspects.

Today's Agreement is expected to offer new air transport opportunities, more direct connections and economic benefits to both sides:

  • All EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from anywhere in the EU to any airport in Ukraine, and vice versa for Ukrainian airlines.
  • All limitations and restrictions on flights between Ukraine and the EU will be removed and the provisions on open and fair competition will guarantee a level playing field.

The Agreement will facilitate people-to-people contacts and expand commercial opportunities and trade between the EU and Ukraine. It will also be a valuable instrument in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and, in particular, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

Background

While the Agreement still needs to be ratified by both sides before formally entering into force, it will start to apply from today’s signature.

Similar comprehensive air transport agreements have been signed with other neighbouring countries, namely those of the Western Balkans, Morocco, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova and Israel. Additional neighbourhood aviation agreements with Armenia and Tunisia are expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

For More Information

International aviation relations of the EU

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Details

Publication date
12 October 2021
Author
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport