Kyrgyz Parliament members propose to introduce Open Skies policy in Kyrgyzstan

Deputies of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan suggest introducing Open Skies and the Fifth Freedom of the Air policy in the country. A group of deputies prepared amendments to the Air Code of the Kyrgyz Republic and submitted the bill for public discussion.

The background statement says that the policy opens the market of Kyrgyzstan for international airlines. The key principles are not only the granting of rights for transit flights, but also the government’s non-interference in pricing, routes and the absence of restrictions on the types of aircraft and their capacities.

The Open Skies policy in the world made it possible to increase passenger turnover by 35 percent.

According to the authors of the amendments, this would reduce the prices for air tickets from 20 to 40 percent. “The Open Sky program created tens of thousands of jobs, the agreement between Australia and New Zealand alone provided 40,000 people with work, and the liberal air regime in Singapore created 163,000 jobs. The world uses different mechanisms to implement Open Skies policy — from bilateral and multilateral agreements to unilateral declarations. A recent example is Armenia, which over the past two years has been able to open 12 new international flights involving 12 airlines,” the document says.

The deputies believe that the state of civil aviation, infrastructure of airports and airlines of Kyrgyzstan require intensive changes and liberalization.

Out of 11 airports, Manas and Osh airports provide 98 percent of the passenger traffic. But their capacity for the transportation of passengers and cargoes is only 30 percent used.

“The implementation of Open Skies policy in Kyrgyzstan will strengthen civil aviation, meet the growing need of the population and business in affordable air tickets and cargo transportation, ensure a high level of flight safety through the renewal of the fleet, provide financial opportunities for upgrading airports and air navigation systems. Civil aviation employs about 6,000 people, more than 50 percent of whom work in the structures of Manas International Airport, and at local and foreign airlines — about 20 percent. Manas International Airport JSC has transferred more than KGS 1.4 billion in deductions on the dividends, in form of taxes and insurance premiums to the state for 2017,” the background statement says.

Kyrgyzstan has air links with only nine countries, having the worst indicator in this sphere in Central Asia. Air tickets in Kyrgyzstan are 39 percent more expensive compared to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

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