Competition impediments in Finnish-Russian air traffic to be revoked

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 1.3.2012 10.58
Press release

The Finnish Government proposes to the Finnish Parliament that the protocol on amending the air transport agreement between Finland and Russia be ratified. The amendments aim to remove legal limitations on air traffic competition between the two countries.

An essential goal of this amendment is to have the air transport agreement between Finland and Russia meet the obligations of EU legislation. The agreement aims to revoke competition limitations on air traffic between the countries and to have cooperation between carriers meet all conventions commonly applied in international flight traffic.

According to the agreement amended with the protocol, a company that operates between Russia and Finland no longer needs to be in Finnish ownership. From now on, a carrier would only need to have operations in Finland and have operating licences and air operator certificates granted in accordance with the local regulations.

The amended air transport agreement could mean financial savings to Finnish carriers, and possibly also to travellers. Previously, the agreement made it a condition that airlines sign mutual commercial agreements. Based on such a commercial agreement, Finnair has annually paid Aeroflot tens of millions of euros for the connections between the countries and through Siberian overflight payments.

The Government issued a proposal to the Parliament on ratifying the protocol on amending the air transport agreement with Russia on 1 March 2012. The amendment protocol was signed in Moscow in September 2011, after nearly ten years of preparation.

Further information

Ms. Anna Sotaniemi, Senior Government Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28491, +358 40 572 0166