13 May 2010 16:51

Aeroflot seeks 40 mln rubles compensation for lost flights due to volcanic ash

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - Russia's largest airlines, Aeroflot - Russian Airlines , has turned to the Transportation Ministry seeking 40 million rubles in compensation for direct losses from flights canceled due to the volcanic ash cloud out of Iceland, the director of the ministry's department for state civil aviation policy, Vladimir Tasun, said at a press conference.

The losses stem from providing food and accommodation to passengers whose flights were delayed and the costs of transfers. The compensation is only being sought for those expenses, and not lost earnings on the canceled flights, he said.

Aeroflot has submitted a list of direct losses totaling 40 million rubles. "The figure 130 million rubles has also been mentioned, but we don't understand that yet," Tasun said.

Another big Russian airline, Transaero, has also submitted its compensation request. Tasun did not specify the amount of the request.

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov instructed the Transportation Ministry to tally the losses at the six biggest Russian airlines, he said. The ministry wants documentary evidence for all the losses it reports, he added.

Ivanov said in late April that the government was willing to discuss compensation for airlines following the disruptions in Europe's airspace caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. "As soon as the airlines tally and report their losses, we will meet and think about possible compensation for the losses," Ivanov said. Aeroflot, the Russian airline with the most flights to Europe, suffered the most, he said.