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Putin approves five-way merger of Russian regional air carriers

Putin approves five-way merger of Russian regional air carriers

President Vladimir Putin signed off Wednesday on the merger of five regional airlines amid a government drive to consolidate and modernize the country's ailing domestic industry.
The five members of the AirUnion alliance will be rolled into a similarly named company, OAO AirUnion, in which the state will hold no less than 45 percent of the shares, according to a statement issued by the presidential press service.
Government officials have promoted the creation of the holding company as a step to encourage consolidation among Russia's many regional airlines and to launch a rival to market leaders Aeroflot and S7.
The state currently holds a controlling 51 percent stake in KrasAir, 50 percent in Domodedovo Airlines, and 46.5 percent in Samara airlines. Two other companies _ Omskavia and Sibaviatrans _ are privately owned. Together the five companies carried 4.9 million passengers in 2006, AirUnion said on its Web site.
Russia last year saw a slew of crashes involving Russian airlines and airports that claimed more than 400 lives and cast a harsh light on the decrepit state of many of the nation's carriers. In October, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who oversees air safety, called for consolidation in a sector where many companies lack the cash to overhaul their Soviet-era fleets.
The merger also comes as the state forges an aircraft-making corporation aimed at reinvigorating Russia's splintered manufacturers, who saw their orders plummet after the Soviet breakup.


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:51 GMT+08:00