23 Dec 2009 15:07

Air transport of passengers in Russia down 10.3% in 11 mths - Levitin

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) - Passenger throughput on civilian airlines in Russia dropped by 10.3% year-on-year in January-November 2009, Transport Minister Igor Levitin said to the State Duma on Wednesday during Government Hour.

He said that cargo turnover in this period had decreased by 6.7%.

"The world financial crisis has complicated the situation on the aviation transport market, which has caused a decrease in total transport," Levitin said.

Levitin added that, starting from August 2008, the Russian government and the Transport Ministry has undertaken anti-crisis measures in providing state support to Russian airlines. For example, a decree was issued for Rosaviatsia to provide compensation to commercial banks on un-received revenue on loans to aviation companies.

In 2009, a decree for providing subsidies to airlines with services from the Far East of Russia. The decree foresaw a special tariff active between May 15 and October 31. Levitin added that 163,696 passengers flew between the Far East and the European part of Russia on this tariff.

The minister added that a mechanism has been formed for additional guarantees for rights of passengers who have agreements on transport with carriers. In this regard, a decision has been made to suspend air operators certificate. A total of 5 billion rubles have been earmarked in the budget for this effort.