Russia, Kazakhstan to liberalize bilateral agreement

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Published: May 18, 2012

Russia and Kazakhstan will amend their bilateral agreement, Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia Valery Okulov said at the Wings of Russia award ceremony. He did not disclose the details but said the bilateral agreements between Russia and some CIS republics are archaic and tough, regulating all possible details of flights between the countries.

Currently, only one carrier from each side—Russian Transaero Airlines (UN) and Kazakhstan-based Air Astana (KC)—is allowed to fly on the high-demand routes of Moscow-Almaty (ALA) and Moscow-Astana (TSE).

Industry experts say Russian and local CIS aviation authorities are interested in tough regulations to protect local carriers from increasing competition.

Some routes have already been liberalized. Last year, Russia and the Ukraine agreed to increase the number of carriers on the Moscow-Odessa route ( ATW Daily News, Dec. 15, 2011 ).

Okulov said the liberalized relations trend with different countries will continue, not only because Russia will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) but also because Russian airlines are trying to launch more international routes and compete with foreign carriers. Okulov also said Russian authorities will negotiate with Irish aviation authorities about changes in their bilateral agreement soon.

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