EU & Ukraine Reach Agreement to Facilitate Air Travel amid COVID-19

The Presidents of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, representing EU member states, and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, reached a joint agreement in order to facilitate air travel between the 27-nation bloc and Ukraine.

The agreement signed during the 23rd summit held on Tuesday in Kiev is expected to introduce low-cost airlines and enable more exchanges and visits between the two parties, TheSchengen.com reports.

“We reaffirmed our strong commitment to further strengthening Ukraine’s political engagement and economic integration with the European Union, including through continued close cooperation to strengthen the rule of law, advance reforms, promote sustainable economic growth, support green and digital transformations and increase resilience,” said a joint statement.

During the summit, the parties discussed improving economic and political relations, which were previously addressed by an agreement in 2017, which enabled Ukraine to access the European Union and increase its trade activity.

Last month, TheSchengen.com reported that EU representatives and leaders from Armenia, Qatar, Tunisia and Ukraine had reached the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement, which allows flights to operate more easily between these countries and the EU. On the same occasion, the Council of the European Union announced independent agreements with Ukraine, Armenia and Tunisia, with the aim of facilitating commercial flights between these countries.

The statement noted that “the three neighborhood agreements will remove market restrictions with regard to the neighboring countries of the European Union and link these countries to the internal aviation market of the European Union, as it will adopt the aviation standards of the European Union and implement the rules of aviation in the European Union.”

According to a report published by the European Union for the safety of air navigation, EUROCONTROL, air traffic decreased by 29.1 percent in September compared to the same time in 2019, before the outbreak of COVID-19. EUROCONTROL also reveals that as of September 29, 23,208 flights were operated across EU member states.

On the other hand, the organization revealed that carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union member states have decreased by 56 percent compared to 2019, and the most prominent changes were in the following countries:

Finland (-74.7%) Sweden (-73.3%) United Kingdom and Ireland (-71.1%) Czech and Austria (-70.9%) Iceland (-63%) Italy (-62.7%) Spain (-60.1%) Percentage

While flights operated by the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium recorded less than 20 percent of their carbon emissions, or in the case of Luxembourg, carbon emissions from flights remained similar to pre-pandemic levels.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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