February 24, 2015
Russia offers Greek Airlines access to Sochi , Vladivostok and Kaliningrad
Greece and Russia, each with struggling economies, have reached an agreement for Greek carriers to gain access to Russian airports in Sochi , Kaliningrad, Vladivostok. While some may question the wisdom behind such a move when a number of Russian airlines are struggling, considerable investment has been made in airports at these destinations and this needs to be recouped. Vladivostok airport invested heavily in improved infrastructure prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in 2012, while billions were spent on Sochi for the Winter Olympics 2014, including the airport. Aviation transport is vital for the Kaliningrad region as it is separated from Russia’s main territory. What is also worth noting is that this move comes a year after Russia’s aviation authorities granted Turkish airlines three IATA seasons’ access to Sochi .
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two has granted Greek airlines rights applicable for three IATA consequent periods for Sochi commencing from the IATA 2014-2015 winter season and Kaliningrad for three years from the IATA 2015 summer season. Where Vladivostok International Airport is concerned, the rules will apply for an unlimited period starting from IATA’s 2015 summer season, and will include all cargo and passenger operations. Rosaviatsia, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, has stated that: “these operations do not utilize [Russia’s] trans-Siberian route network.”