28 Dec 2010 17:53

Talks on sale of Moskva Airlines to UTair to be completed before year-end - Levitin

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) - UTair will purchase Moskva Airlines (formerly Atlant-Soyuz), Transportation Minister Igor Levitin told journalists in Moscow.

The two airlines are currently negotiating the deal and should finish before the end of the year, he said.

Moskva is saddled with substantial debt, he said. "The city [Moscow] is currently in talks with UTair on the terms for transferring the airline," Levitin said.

UTair began studying documentation on Moskva in early December. Levitin had said previously that Moscow might sell non-core assets, including Moskva Airlines and Vnukovo Airport.

Later, UTair chief Andrei Martirosov said the company might acquire Moskva for the sake of its fleet of Boeing 737 jetliners and its routes to Central Asia.

Moskva currently operates six Boeing 737-800 and two Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Moscow city owns 100% of shares.