Russia to launch new airline an alternative to Aeroflot

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Moscow, Oct 22 (UNI) A new airline, Russian Airlines, will officially be created by November 11, the head of the state-run Russian Technology Corporation, Sergei Chemezov has said.

''We have arranged a regular board meeting of the new airline for November 11, and we could announce its registration and establishment by that date,'' Mr Chemezov said at a press conference yesterday.

The Russian Technology Corporation, the Moscow city government, and the administration of Eastern Siberia's Krasnoyarsk Territory agreed in early September to merge several airlines from the troubled AiRUnion alliance as a way of easing cash-flow problems.

Mr Chemezov said the new airline his company is creating with the Moscow city government would one day serve as an alternative to Aeroflot.

''It will eventually serve as an alternative to Aeroflot,'' he said.

The founders of Russian Airlines nominated Chemezov as the airline's board chairman at a meeting today, Russian Technology and the Moscow government said in a joint press release.

The Russian Airlines holding will specialise in passenger and freight carriage, as well as aircraft repair and maintenance. The company will also handle the production and provision of in-flight food, aircraft leasing, and related services.

Russian Technology will control 51 per cent in the new airline, and the Moscow government will own the other 49 oer cent stake.

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Russian Airlines, which could eventually be given another name, would be based in Moscow.

UNI XC ARB SB KP1624

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