17 Oct 2018 14:43

Russian Transport Ministry working to allocate 300 mln rubles from budget to subsidize flights to Far East

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The Russian Transport Ministry, in partnership with Aeroflot , is working on securing an additional 300 million rubles from the federal budget to subsidize flights to the Far East, a ministry representative told Interfax.

"The Transport Ministry, in conjunction with Aeroflot, is working on the matter of a prompt allocation of additional funds for airline flights to the Far East at subsidized rates. It is envisaged that a further 300 million rubles will be made available by the Transport Ministry before the end of 2018," the representative said.

Initially, 2.9 billion rubles in subsidies were set aside for subsidizing flights between the western part of the country and the Far East this year. Aeroflot, a participant, sold all of its subsidized tickets in the first six days of sales. In July the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) reported that financing for the Far Eastern program would be boosted by 625 million rubles using funds saved in in the Kaliningrad and Simferopol subsidy programs. Following this, Aeroflot announced the resumption of subsidized flights to the Far East, forecast that tickets would be sold in roughly 10 days.

The government later agreed to allocate a further 400 million rubles from its reserves for flights to the Far East. However, on Tuesday, Aeroflot issued agents a letter announcing the cessation of subsidized ticket sales for flights to the Far East, Kaliningrad, and Simferopol, saying in the letter than all subsidies had been used up.