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Let’s suppose I start an airline in a non-EU country, one that does not have visa waivers of any kind with the EU. Eventually, I start operating a daily flight to an airport within the Schengen zone.

Which kind of EU visas should the flight crew have in this case? If the flight is a turnaround one and the crew (let’s pretend no issues ever happen and the flight always leaves back within an hour) does not leave the transit area, would they be able to operate without going through immigration, thus not requiring a visa at all?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about travel. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 17 at 20:24
  • Whichever one your newly formed airlines newly hired corporate lawyers say they should get... – Doc Feb 17 at 20:43
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Under Annex VII(2) of the Schengen Borders Code, they may not need any visa at all:

Special rules for certain categories of persons

  1. Pilots of aircraft and other crew members

    2.1. By way of derogation from Article 6 the holders of a pilot’s licence or a crew member certificate as provided for in Annex 9 to the Civil Aviation Convention of 7 December 1944 may, in the course of their duties and on the basis of those documents:

    (a) embark and disembark in the stop-over airport or the airport of arrival situated in the territory of a Member State;

    (b) enter the territory of the municipality of the stop-over airport or the airport of arrival situated in the territory of a Member State;

    (c) go, by any means of transport, to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State in order to embark on an aircraft departing from that same airport. In all other cases, the requirements provided for by Article 6(1) shall be fulfilled.

    2.2. Articles 7 to 14 shall apply to checks on aircraft crew members. Wherever possible, priority will be given to checks on aircraft crews. Specifically, they will be checked either before passengers or at special locations set aside for the purpose. By way of derogation from Article 8, crews known to staff responsible for border controls in the performance of their duties may be subject to random checks only.

Article 6 is the article on Entry conditions for third-country nationals. Articles 7 to 14 make up Chapter II, Control of external borders and refusal of entry. Article 8 is the article on Border checks on persons.

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