Ukraine has signed an Open Skies Agreement with the European Union. Ukraine 24 TV channel broadcasted the event.
The agreement aims to equalize the rights of Ukrainian and European airlines, lift the monopoly on certain routes established by bilateral agreements, facilitate the opening of new routes between Ukrainian and European cities, and as a result - reduce ticket prices.
The Open Skies Agreement stipulates that European companies will be able to fly to any airport in Ukraine without restrictions, and Ukrainian airlines - to any airport in the EU. At the same time, Ukraine undertakes to comply with European aviation safety standards.
"We have made great progress since the 22nd summit, eight years later we have finally signed an agreement on a common aviation area. I congratulate Ukraine, the presidents, and the EU. These are high standards of flight safety. New opportunities for citizens and business and wider geography of travel," Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
The process of unification of Ukrainian aviation space with the EU has been going on since the presidency of Leonid Kuchma, since 1999. In December 2006, the EU Council authorized the European Commission to start negotiations with Ukraine on a common aviation area.
In October 2013, the parties agreed on the text of the agreement, but the signing was blocked due to the conflict between the United Kingdom and Spain over the territorial status of Gibraltar and its airport. Official Madrid blocked the deal because Kyiv recognized the airport as British.
However, after the final withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, the obstacles to signing the agreement disappeared. In June 2021, the EU Council agreed to sign an agreement with Ukraine, as well as with Armenia, Tunisia and Qatar.