Ukraine is, next to the Russian Federation, the largest neighbour of the enlarged European Union and a priority country in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Ukraine is a rapidly growing aviation market and has a strong tourism potential with more than 6 million foreign tourists annually. Currently, the country is linked through bilateral air services agreements with all the 27 EU Member States.
In December 2005, Ukraine and the European Community signed a horizontal aviation agreement, allows any EU airline to operate flights between Ukraine and any EU Member State where it is established and where a bilateral agreement with Ukraine exists and traffic rights are available. It does not replace the bilateral agreements but adapts them to bring them into line with EU law. This is a major step change from the traditional set-up of aviation based on nationality restrictions and complements the EU's internal aviation market on the external side.
On 12 December 2006, the Commission received a mandate to negotiate a comprehensive Common Aviation Area (CAA) agreement with Ukraine. The objective of the CAA agreement is to gradually extend the internal aviation market to Ukraine. The negotiations were successfully concluded by the initialling of the Agreement on 28 November 2013. Upon its ratification, this comprehensive agreement allows all EU and Ukraine airlines to operate direct flights between any airport in the EU and Ukraine. Beyond market opening, the agreement also provides a modern framework and high standards for a wide range of aviation issues, such as passenger rights, air traffic management, economic regulation, competition issues or social aspects. It thereby delivers mutual benefits, provides a platform to take EU-Ukraine aviation relations to a new level and serves to build an ambitious/genuine – both broad and deep – aviation partnership.
For further information and figures on EU-Ukraine aviation relations and EU aviation in general, please consult the Atlas of the Sky.