Following the Open Skies agreement between the USA and the Ukraine signed earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted Antonov Airlines large-scale exemptions for charter services to and from the USA.
At Antonov, the new accord reached with the U.S. regulator is widely considered as a major breakthrough in air traffic matters between Kiev and Washington with the Ukraine capacity provider
benefitting most. Market experts believe that the deal paves the way for intensified cargo transports and broader business opportunities in general. It further reduces Antonov’s traditional bonds
with Russia, enabling the carrier to seek its fortune in other markets.
Foreign air carrier allowance is step in the right direction
Key component of the agreement is the DOT’s decision to tentatively grant Antonov Airlines a foreign air carrier permit. This means that the Ukraine air company no longer needs to obtain DOT statements of authorization, following non-objections from local U.S. operators. From now on, only U.S. Customs notifications and approvals are required for operating an Antonov charter flight to or from the USA. This way, a number of former bureaucratic hurdles are set aside that proved to be time consuming and cumbersome.
Less governmental interference spurs trade and air traffic, Antonov
the liberalized conditions for operating charter flights conceded by Washington’s regulator, stating that both the Open Skies agreement and the now obtained foreign air carrier permit “increase trade, up productivity and spur high-quality job opportunities together with economic growth.”
Thanks to the agreement reached, government interference in commercial airline matters about routes, capacity and pricing will be sharply reduced, allowing carriers like Antonov Airlines “to provide more affordable, convenient and efficient air service for consumers.”
Kiev, Ukraine-based operator Antonov has since long specialized in transporting heavy and oversized items worldwide, mainly on charter basis. Currently, the capacity provider’s fleet consist of 7 AN-124-100 Ruslan, one AN-225 Mriya and one large turboprop AN-22 freighter. The company is sole license holder for the large AN-124-100 all-cargo aircraft.