23 / 11 / 2021
Ukraine is destined to become a global air hub. The question is, when this will happen. Blog

Signing an Open Skies Agreement with the European Union is a serious challenge for our country. Because it is one thing to sign the document and another is to implement and start applying it. And this challenge has several aspects.

The first aspect. Legislative sphere.

As far as legislative and regulatory sphere is concerned, it is necessary to ensure that Ukrainian norms governing air transportation are adapted to the European ones. And an even better approach is to make them fully understandable and accessible to the European airline companies.

The second aspect. Safe and modern infrastructure.

An equally important and far more complex and capital-intensive process is the reconstruction and modernization of the infrastructure. It is one thing to sign an Open Skies Agreement and another is to provide the necessary airport infrastructure capable of receiving European air carriers in accordance with the European standards.

This process involves a number of tasks to be addressed:

  • –    acceleration of the transfer of airports to concession, because involvement of concessionaires may contribute to a successful reconstruction of the Ukrainian airport infrastructure in a shorter time;
  • –    revision and implementation of European approaches to price setting for airport services (takeoff and landing, terminal fee); it is necessary to ensure transparency of price setting and availability of these prices for the air carriers;
  • –    collection of fees for parking of the aircraft above quota; the current fees imposed by Ukraine force many airline carriers to park their aircraft at the border airports of the EU member states.

Open Skies Agreement is both the implementation of European aviation standards and preparation of the infrastructure for European air carriers. These two major issues need to be addressed at the national level with the involvement of all executive and legislative bodies.

I’m sure that passenger and freight segments will develop at an outperforming rate in Ukraine. Regarding the passenger segment, the most promising areas are:

  • –    tourism: mainly the southern direction and active urban vacations in Europe,
  • –    business: the Middle East and East China regions are developing very rapidly. They became points of attraction for the business interests. But since Ukraine is persistently heading towards Europe, most business interests are focused in the European region.

It is impossible to change the geographical location of Ukraine: it will always be the same. Therefore, the transit potential of our country is unique. And I am convinced that Ukraine is destined to become a global air hub. The main question is when this will happen.


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