The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Ukrainian operator Antonov Company (Antonov Airlines) broad air charter exemptions for flights to and from the US.
These exemptions follow the U.S.-Ukraine Open Skies agreement, concluded on July 14, 2015, and became effective earlier this year. The U.S. DOT has also tentatively granted Antonov Company a foreign air carrier permit.
The Antonov Company no longer needs to obtain U.S. DOT statements of authorization, following non-objections from U.S. operators, but normal U.S. Customs notifications and approvals are required for flights.
Commenting on the decision, Antonov Airlines’ management said that the U.S. set quotas for foreign airlines on charter freight transportation to safeguard U.S. companies’ commercial interests.
“Antonov Airlines transports oversized and superheavy cargo, which cannot be handled by U.S. operators”, the source said.
Its fleet consists of seven An-124-100 Ruslan, one An-225 Mriya and one An-22 Antei aircraft.
Since 2006, Antonov Airlines has been fulfilling a contract under NATO’s Strategic Airlift Interim Solution program, servicing 18 NATO and EU member states. In December 2014, the contract was extended until the end of 2016. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)