10 Aug 2018 11:59

Russian PM hopes for expansion of subsidized passenger flights

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. Aug 10 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes that the government will be able to increase the number of destinations with interregional passenger flights at fixed prices.

"There are already several destinations here, I think two or three routes at fixed prices have been introduced, Magadan and Anadyr. We will hope that such subsidized destinations will also expand," Medvedev said at a meeting with employees of the Kronotsky Nature Preserve when the problem of expensive flights from the Far East to other regions of Russia was mentioned.

The government has already begun a program to subsidize air travel to a number of destinations to tackle this problem, he said. The subsidies are targeted and apply to young people and the elderly.

"But this is not bad in and of itself, because it makes the cost of such a flight fixed and gives a fairly broad range of people the opportunity to take advantage of this," Medvedev said.

The introduction of flat rates for flights to and from the Far East made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of plane tickets, but it is impossible to completely demotivate airlines and subsidize all flights, he said.

"Therefore, we will try to push them toward reasonable competition so that they maintain a so-called flat rate, and so that this flat rate is more or less acceptable for the absolute majority of those who live in the Far East," Medvedev said.