Russia and Czech Republic agree to resume passenger air service between two countries
Russia’s Transport Ministry suggested that the final agreement with the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic on the flights parameters should be postponed to September.
“The Russian side has submitted its response to the proposal by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, in which it suggests that the final agreement on the format of further air transport cooperation should be postponed to September, the end of the summer season,” the ministry’s press service said in a statement on Thursday. That would allow “the citizens of the two countries to plan their trips in the height of the season,” the ministry added.
The Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic said earlier that it had been negotiating the resumption of flights between the two countries with the Russian colleagues and expected an agreement to be reached in coming days.
Czech transport authorities, in turn, said they are interested in the soonest settlement of the situation in the sphere of passenger air service between the two countries. “We don’t want any further restrictions in air carriages between our countries in the period of summer vacations. We don’t want to cause any discomfort to passengers,” Czech transport ministry’s spokesman, Frantisek Jemelka said on Thursday. “Inter-ministerial talks will continue all through the summer to agree on the frame for further cooperation,” Jemelka added.
According to Jemelka, Russian and Czech transport ministries have agreed to keep the existing number of flights by national air carriers in each other’s airspace.
On July 2, Russian airlines had to cut or fully suspend flights to the Czech Republic as requested by the country’s aviation authorities. For example, Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot reduced the number of daily flights from Moscow to Prague from six to two. Pobeda, a Russian low-cost carrier, was ready to halt flights starting July 4 from Moscow to the spa town of Karlovy Vary, while Ural Airlines – from Yekaterinburg to Prague.
Apparently the Czech side decided to restrict the fights of Russian airlines after aviation authorities of the two countries failed to agree on the Prague-Seoul flights of the Czech Airlines through Russian airspace. According to Russian Kommersant business daily, Russia’s Transport Ministry demanded that its Czech colleagues allow a third Russian airline operate along the Moscow-Prague route. In the event of a refusal, Russia vowed not to extend its temporary permission for Czech Airlines to conduct flights from Prague to Seoul via the shortest Trans-Siberian route over the Russian territory. The permission expired on July 1.
On the same day, the Czech aviation authorities reported that temporary flight permits had been granted until July 7. Flights were fully resumed.