The decision of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to permit the resumption of flights by American airlines and their partners to three Ukrainian airports paves the way for further expansion of flight routes and the return of paused services, says Kharkiv International Airport director Volodymyr Vasilchenko.
“The FAA decision is very important for Ukraine as it recognizes Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhia as safe for American airlines and their partners, while also designating parts of Black Sea airspace as safe for overflight,” commented Vasilchenko. “The FAA has very strict criteria for making these kinds of decisions and they took a range of global factors into consideration. The resulting decision is a serious indicator for airline companies whose interest in Ukraine is now likely to increase. From a commercial point of view, for example, we at Kharkiv International Airport will work to secure the return of Flydubai, which left our region when the FAA first suspended flights in 2014. We also hope for the arrival of other carriers.”
The FAA announced 18 October that it was allowing US airlines and partners to resume flights to three Ukrainian airports following a four-year pause. America’s national air safety regulator gave permission for the renewal of flights to Kharkiv, Zaporizhia and Dnipro international airports, commenting that security and safety levels at these airports “have sufficiently stabilized” to allow for the resumption of services by US airlines and non-US airlines operating US airline codeshare flights.
The FAA restrictions dated back to 2014 and came in response to the Russian seizure of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine. Officials said the change in policy came after more than two years of safe flight operations in the region by non-US airlines.