Air travelling passengers’ interests taken into account
Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, Anatoly Kalinin, tells us, “We’ve lifted all disagreements in the field of passenger air transportation and agreed that, in summer, flights will follow a 50:50 scheme: Belarus and Russia will offer five flights each.” He stresses that the interests of passengers guided the decision.
“The convenience of passengers is the key factor for air carriers. We need to arrange as many flights as needed for the business community, tourists and other citizens. Economic matters are secondary,” Mr. Kalinin adds. As earlier announced, the Belarus-Russia dispute was triggered by the number of flights offered by Minsk and Moscow. In line with an intergovernmental agreement on air transportation (from December 12th, 1997), Belarus and Russia have commercial parity regarding the number of flights between their capitals. Belavia planned that, in summer 2012, it would conduct four Minsk-Moscow flights daily while Russia wished to run five.
On March 26th, Belavia was forced to suspend flights to Moscow, as the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport revoked the national airline’s permit to conduct regular flights between Minsk and Moscow for summer 2012. In response, Belarus revoked the relevant permits for all Russian air carriers. The same day, the two states’ aviation authorities decided to temporarily resume flights.