Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Could Russia Permit Stand-Alone Cabotage?

An interesting item last week from RT suggests Russia may be considering dramatic changes in aviation policy as a result of recent high-profile crashes. See Open Sky Program May Give Russian Airline Companies a Dare, RT, Dec. 7, 2011 (available here). According to the article, authorities are expected to allow Czech Airlines and Air Baltic to provide air services for the Russian ice hockey league, to prevent a repeat of September's tragic crash involving the Yaroslavi team. The article also suggested that foreign airlines might be allowed to operate domestic services generally within Russia. While it is not clear whether the grant of eighth (consecutive cabotage) or ninth (stand-alone cabotage) freedom rights is under consideration, either would be a significant development. Outside of the EU and Australia, cabotage rights are practically non-existent for a market Russia's size. 


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