Ukrainians ask PACE to assist in solving conflict between DniproAvia and Lufthansa

10:37, 31 January 2007
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Ukrainian NGOs have sent a common statement

A number of Ukrainian NGOs have sent a common statement to the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, asking PACE to assist in settling the conflict between Germany and Ukraine concerning the ban to DniproAvia Ukrainian company to carry out flights to Germany.

Chairman of the Public Committee for National Security of Ukraine Oleksiy Tolkachov claimed this to a press conference in UNIAN.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, he noted that NGO representatives called upon the European Parliament to investigate the matter of the Ukrainian-German aviation conflict, to ensure compliance with the Open Sky agreement and to initiate the revocation of Germany`s discriminatory ban against the Ukrainian air carrier.

”We are convinced that Germany’s discriminatory bans against Ukrainian airlines violate the principles of the Open Sky international agreement, hamper the processes of the European integration of Ukraine and worsen the state of collaboration between Ukraine and Europe”, O.Tolkachov said.

NGOs  representatives also note in their statement that the State Aircraft Service of Ukraine, as early as in December of 2006, proposed to hold talks on this issue, but the German side disregarded this proposal.

According to the information of O.Tolkachov, the above statement was signed by chiefs of Pora Civic Campaign, the Association for Rights of Ukrainian Citizens, “Republic” Institute, “Independent Ukraine”, International Institute of Democracy, and the Civil Committee for National Security of Ukraine.

As UNIAN reported earlier, since 1998, international flights on the routes Dnipropetrovsk-Berlin, Dnipropetrovsk-Frankfurt, were fulfilled by DniproAvia company. The clash escalated when Lufthansa began to carry out regular flights on the Dnipropetrovsk-Frankfurt route since October 30 of 2005. However, soon the flights were suspended, as the Dnipropetrovsk airport, due to technical reasons, could not provide slots, asked by Lufthansa, and the German company was categorically opposed to changing the time of its takes-off and landings.

At the same time, on 8 March 2006, the German Federal Department of Civil Aviation revoked DniproAvia`s landing rights first at Frankfurt and then throughout Germany. The reasons given.

included Lufthansa`s scheduling problems and allegations that the airline had not been given a permit by the Ukrainian authorities for flights in the Summer 2006 period, though the information provided by Lufthansa to the LBA should show that the Ukrainian government did indeed act in a timely manner.

The talks of the two sides’ aviation authorities brought no result. In its turn, Ukraine also forbade flights of Lufthansa to Dnipropetrovsk. Thus, there is no direct communication between Dnipropetrovsk and Germany.

In August of 2007, several NGOs claimed that Lufthansa monopolized aircraft flights from Germany to Dnipropetrovsk, and asked Ukrainian authorities to interfere into the situation. In August the Association for Defense of Citizens’ Rights picketed the office of Lufthansa and the embassy of Germany to defend interests of the Ukrainian aviation. The Association for Defense of Citizens’ Rights also held actions at the Transport and Communication Ministry and in Boryspil airport, and has already twice picketed the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine.

In the opinion of NGOs representatives, Lufthansa deliberately tries to monopolize the above-mentioned route, and the policy of German authorities concerning Ukrainian airlines is discriminatory.

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