Participation in the program for subsidizing flights to the Crimea will be one of the conditions for granting airline companies permission to operate on international routes. Deputy Transport Minister Valery Okulov announced this to representatives of airline companies on the sidelines of a meeting on transportation to the Crimea, the Vedomosti publication reports, citing sources.
A representative of the Ministry of Transport denied that Okulov made such a statement. However, a person close to the Ministry of Transport said that a clause on "participation in socially important projects in Russia" would be added to the requirements for airline companies applying for permits to operate on international routes. Flights to the Crimea will be understood as such.
An interdepartmental commission headed by Okulov makes decisions on granting airline companies permission to operate on international routes. The commission’s meetings are held almost every month.
The he Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) recently announced that it was beginning to conclude contracts with airline companies on performance of subsidized passenger flights to Simferopol and back. According to a statement by the agency, flights at special tariffs that offer significant discounts on ticket prices will be performed from 17 Russian cities to Simferopol from June 1 to October 31, 2014.
The airline companies Ak Bars Aero, Alrosa, Nordavia, Red Wings, Siberia, Ural Airlines, Yakutia, and Yamal plant to operate flights under the program for subsidizing flights from Russian regions to the Crimea. The maximum size of the special tariff in one direction will range from RUB 2,000 to RUB 6,800 (USD 58-196) per passenger, inclusive of all fees.
Airline companies will receive exactly the same amount from the state budget as a subsidy per passenger. However, the UTair airline company’s General Director Andrei Martirosov said in early April that the proposed tariffs were "not economically justified." "It is impossible to operate flights for such amounts of money. It is unprofitable in both directions," he explained.
A source close to the board of directors of the Aeroflot airline company said that implementation of the Crimean flight program that has already been announced would inflict losses of USD 50-70 million per year on the airline company.