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Fact Sheet: U.S.-Russia Air Transport Agreement

May 24, 2002

Civil aviation relations with Russia are governed by a bilateral Air Transport Agreement that entered into force on January 14, 1994. A Protocol signed on April 5, 1999 amended the Agreement to include six Annexes covering scheduled/charter air services, commercial opportunities, overflights, code-sharing and Alaska-Russian Far East air service; these Annexes expired on January 22, 2001. On April 11, 2002, agreement was reached to amend and extend these six Annexes to April 2004.

  • Included in the new Annexes is formal authority for United States airlines to use cross-polar air routes informally opened for commercial purposes by the Russian authorities in February 2001.
  • Cross-polar routes connect the eastern coast of the United States with destinations in Asia via non-stop routes that substantially reduce flying time and expense. Polar route flights between New York City and Singapore cut flying times by more than three hours, reduce flight miles by almost 20 percent, and save airlines almost $28,000 per flight.
  • The new Annex IV assures American carriers of the right to overfly and stop for non-traffic purposes on 70 flights per week (35 southbound and 35 northbound) on the cross-polar routings until April 2004. These cross-polar routings are of particular interest to United States airlines.
  • The April discussions also resulted in an increase to 42 (21 eastbound and 21 westbound) overflights of Russia linking Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
  • In addition, the number of weekly flights by American carriers on the commercially important Transeast (Pacific) and Europe-Southeast Asia (Tashkent) routings over Russian territory were preserved unchanged -- 200 eastbound/400 westbound and 14 eastbound/14 westbound, respectively.
  • Annex VI also specifies a United States right to provide scheduled air service to Anadyr, Lavrentiya and Provideniya in the Russian Far East, thus furthering the connections between Alaska and its near neighbors to the East.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: U.S.-Russia Air Transport Agreement Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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