Russia to replace sanctions-hit airline with new carrier
MOSCOW (Reuters) - State-controlled Russian airline Aeroflot will create a new low-cost subsidiary to replace sanctions-hit Dobrolyot, RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing Aeroflot chief executive Vitaly Savelyev.
Aeroflot-run Dobrolyot suspended flights in early August after its lease agreement for Boeing aircraft was cancelled under European Union sanctions because it flies to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine.
"We will register a new company, after all," Savelyev was quoted by RIA as saying. "We decided to go ahead with this scenario."
The new company will start flights by the end of October and will have four planes by the end of the year, he added. Interfax news agency said separately that Savelyev specified the model of these four planes; the Boeing 737.
The Aeroflot CEO declined to give the name of the new company, but said that it would fly to the Russian towns Samara, Perm, Ufa and Volgograd.
Whether it also plans to make flights to Crimea remained an open question and depended on demand from the region, he said.
(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Christian Lowe and Keiron Henderson)