Rus News Journal

Aeroflot wants to become Virgin

to fly in Europe
  Aeroflot wants to become Virgin
to fly in Europe

As has informed yesterday Reuters agency, Aeroflot intend to get large or a controlling interest of the Irish airline Virgin Express Ireland having a network of routes in Europe. Thus, the Russian air carrier tries to open for itself those European cities where it has no right to fly from Moscow.

Airlines Virgin Express Ireland (it is registered in Ireland) and Virgin Express nv (is registered in Belgium) are included into holding Virgin Express formed on the basis of company Euro Belgian Airlines which since April, 23rd, 1996 belongs to English billionaire Richard Bransonu (Richard Branson). Has 11 routes in Europe. Mister Bransonu posesses 59 % of actions of holding (he also owns the large British airline Virgin Atlantic competing to British Airways), the others private European shareholders own. Now Virgin Express Ireland plan to sell - from - for profitableness decrease.

Virgin Express is among cheap the European carriers (all them nearby 15) - the small airlines established low tariffs on short routes and earning on the big turn of passengers. If Aeroflot Can get a large share holding of such company, it will have a possibility under an assumed name to fly on the European routes. Now access to them from Moscow is impossible from - for absence of the necessary rights, as foreign flights Aeroflot carries out within the limits of bilaterial interstate arrangements on air communication on the basis of parity.
hearings about possible purchase Virgin Express Ireland (by some estimations, the controlling stock can cost $10 - 20 million) have appeared after the general director Aeroflot Valery Okulov has left on January, 18th for London. By data, before this visit zamgendirektora Aeroflot Alexander Zurabov probed possibilities of purchase of a large share holding any cheap the European airline. As has declared zamgendirektora Aeroflot Alexander Lopukhin, the European direction for Aeroflot - One of priority, about 37 % of incomes the company receives in Europe.
Aeroflot reception of a brand and a network of routes interests first of all. The company while chooses object of purchase, and it can do not become obligatory Virgin Express Ireland. Mister Lopukhin has underlined that the possible transaction at all does not mean that Aeroflot has grown cold to idea of the introduction into the international alliance SkyTeam formed by Air France and Delta.

LEONID - ZAVARSKY