Saakashvili said the "open skies" policy will change nothing and prices for tickets will remain high, "if certain companies still have a monopoly on flights."
"The function of the State involves if not helping with money than at least not interfering. Interfering means when some airlines can fly on the most profitable routes while others cannot. That is, they are able to establish a monopoly price. The "open skies" policy is acceptable but if the procedure after this remains the same, it will change nothing. If some weird persons, who sit on the Commission who do not know a thing, continue to vote... I'm flying by these airlines and I know that they are worthless, there is no service, the aircrafts are terrible there, there is poor maintenance, there are huge prices. I wish that there was a competition. Everything is monopolized. An actual reform should take place in this field while the actual reform means that everyone is permitted to fly, every airline should have possibility to fly and let the people choose and vote with their wallets. And then the airline, which you are working for, would become better too. We have had the same airline in Georgia," he said.
At this point, the head of the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine interrupted Saakashvili and said that the reforms in Georgia led nowhere. "Unfortunately, I can add that Georgia's experience shows that these reforms led nowhere," Antoniuk said.
Whereat Saakashvili objected that the reform attracted 6,000,000 tourists to Georgia. "Are you sure?! Have they really led nowhere?! My dear, and how about 6,000,000 tourists, do not they count?! I would like that there is the same "nowhere" in Odesa. Do you know why there were 6,000,000 tourists? Because people like you and your bosses did not dictate our government which airline to grant permission and which one not!" Saakashvili said.
Minister of Infrastructure Andrii Pivovarskyi, who said that the liberalization was actually underway in Ukraine, also joined the debate but Saakashvili did not agree with that. After a short war of words Saakashvili had left the hall where the press conference was held.
"I will argue with you no longer. Everything is clear with you, comrades. It was the Maidan here but the people like you and the Commission remained after the Maidan. You must explain the post-Maidan people of Ukraine that they deserve to fly three times cheaper, they deserve to fly by sound planes, live in decent hotels, and earn money at the same time. And your oligarchs will have to tighten their belts and earn four billion instead of five. There will be little harm in doing so. The rest will be for the people of Ukraine. That's it. Goodbye," he said.