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PRESS RELEASE
September the 27th, 2011

Amendment to agreement provides a new basis
for air services between Finland and Russia

The Finnish and Russian Transport Ministers Ms Merja Kyllönen and Mr Igor Levitin have signed a protocol amending the air services agreement between Finland and Russia. The protocol, signed in Moscow on 26 September, significantly liberalises air transport services between the two countries.

With the amendment, the concept of a national airline is removed from the air services agreement. In the future an undertaking operating air services between Russia and Finland does not need to be in Finnish ownership. It is enough that the airline is established in Finland and has an Operating Licence and Air Operator Certificate issued in accordance with local regulations.

As a result of a ruling by the European Court of Justice, bilateral air service agreements between EU Member States and Russia must be renegotiated with respect to certain parts.

In December 2010, a decision was taken that these negotiations would commence between Finland and Russia. The protocol that was now signed makes Finland the first country with which Russia has revised the agreement. This agreement can also be used as a basis for negotiations between Russia and other EU countries.

The amendment enables the designation of more than one airline on a route between two cities. In addition, it removes obligatory commercial agreements between airlines.
‘I am pleased that the protocol amending the air services agreement has finally been signed. The revised agreement enables more diverse flight connections from Finland to Russia and vice versa. I believe that in the future this will benefit the consumers', Minister of Transport Ms Merja Kyllönen says.

The amendment also strives to improve flight safety by clarifying and tightening requirements related to technical checks of aircraft.

In conjunction with the meeting, the Ministers also signed a protocol of intent in which the countries commit themselves to developing intelligent transport systems and information technology with the help of a transport network connecting the two countries.

Further information:
Mr Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary, +358 500 787 742
Ms Minna Kivimäki, Director-General, +358 40 754 9871
Mr Risto Murto, Director of Unit, +358 40 505 3320
Ms Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkänen, Ministerial Adviser, +358 40 825 1255


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