Russia’s Aeroflot set to buy competitor Transaero
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
An Aeroflot aircraft (front) is seen at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow, Russia, in this July 7, 2015 file photo. Reuters PhotoRussia’s state-controlled flagship airline Aeroflot is set to buy its struggling competitor Transaero, sources said on Sept. 1.
The decision to make an offer for 75 percent of the capital of Transaero was taken at a meeting led by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and must now be finalized by Aeroflot’s board, a source close to the government told AFP.
Aeroflot’s press secretary Maxim Fetisov confirmed to Echo of Moscow radio station that “we can say it’s true the possibility of consolidation with Transaero is being discussed.”
Transaero confirmed that a meeting with Shuvalov took place.
The meeting backed “the consolidation of Transaero into the Aeroflot group,” the airline said in a statement on its website.
The airline said the measure would be “in the interests of further development of civil aviation and to create one of the largest aviation groups in the world.”
It would also be “in the interests of passengers, staff and partners of the airline,” Transaero said, citing its shareholders.
Russian news agency Interfax reported that Aeroflot was planning to acquire Transaero for the symbolic price of one ruble (one U.S. or euro cent), citing a source present at the talks with Shuvalov.
Aeroflot is 51 percent owned by the Russian government. It grew out of the Soviet monopoly of the same name.
Transaero, which began operating in 1991, is the second-largest Russian airline and the country’s largest privately-owned carrier. In the first half of 2015, it carried 5.7 million passengers compared to 10.9 million who flew on Aeroflot.