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Seventh freedom of air may be introduced in Pulkovo Airport from January 1, 2020

According to the source, airlines of 30 countries will be allowed to arrive in St. Petersburg's airport

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. St. Petersburg airport Pulkovo may introduce the seventh freedom of the air in a pilot mode from January 1, 2020 for five years, a source in one of the Russian airlines told TASS.

The seventh freedom of the air implies that a foreign airline is not obliged to fly to the Pulkovo Airport from its "home" region.

"A list of 30 countries has been prepared for which it is possible to maintain the seventh freedom of the air at the Pulkovo Airport in a pilot mode for a period of five years starting in January 2020," the source said.

According to the source, the list was compiled jointly by the Federal Tourism Agency, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, the Leningrad Region Transport Administration, the government of St. Petersburg, Russian airlines and Pulkovo’s operator. When making the list, the agencies assessed both potential inbound tourism market and damage potential competitors could cause to Russian airlines.

What countries will enjoy the open sky in Pulkovo

The selected 30 countries are divided into two groups. The countries of the first group will be able to fly to Pulkovo under the seventh freedom of the air without restrictions. This group includes 21 states: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Estonia.

Airlines of the second group will be able to fly to Pulkovo with some restrictions on points of departure and arrival. This group includes Austria (except Vienna), Bulgaria (flights can be made to Sofia only), the UK (except London), Germany (except Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Munich), Spain (except Barcelona and Malaga), Italy (except Rome and Milan), Cyprus (excluding Larnaca and Paphos), France (except Nice and Paris) and the Czech Republic (except Prague).

The authorities began to consider the introduction of the "open sky" mode in Pulkovo only this year. Deputy Transport Minister Alexander Yurchik noted in October that the seventh freedom of the air will be introduced gradually, while there are no specific applications from airlines yet. In October, the Association of Air Transport Operators noted that such a decision could lead to financial losses for Russian airlines.

Seventh degree of freedom of the air

In Russia's civil aviation, commercial rights to operate flights are divided into nine freedoms of the air. Each freedom implies a certain degree of transportation opportunities for airlines. While the first freedom allows the carrier to simply cross the airspace of a foreign state without landing, the ninth freedom grants the right to carry passengers inside a foreign state without landing in it.

The seventh freedom of the air allows the carrier to operate flights between two foreign countries without an intermediate landing in the home region.