MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti)
Russia’s anti-trust watchdog may block a strategic deal allowing national flagship airline Aeroflot to use more Sheremetyevo international airport’s terminals if it restricts competition on the market, an official of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) said on Wednesday.
“If there are dangers that competition will be restricted, if there are complaints, and we find that there are negative consequences from this sort of agreement, then naturally anti-monopoly measures will follow,” FAS deputy head Anatoly Golomolzin told Prime news agency.
The competition watchdog is so far unfamiliar with the text of the strategic deal between the two companies, he said.
Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot, a core shareholder of Sheremetyevo international airport, announced on Tuesday it had signed a strategic alliance deal with its main air hub in Moscow to settle an escalating conflict between the two companies.
Under the deal, Aeroflot will receive the airport’s terminals D, E, F for its flights. Some media reported the deal could force other airlines to quit these terminals or move to other airports.
“This agreement will make it possible to improve service quality and will facilitate synchronization of airline and airport divisions and fortification of partnership between Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo,” Aeroflot said in a statement.
The deal came just several days after Aeroflot accused Sheremetyevo CEO Mikhail Vasilenko of mismanagement that caused flight delays last week, and demanded his resignation.
The issue of confidence in Vasilenko, however, was not raised at a meeting of the Sheremetyevo board of directors on October 8.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.