MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Transport temporarily authorized Aeroflot to fly at 56 international routes of Transaero airline, the ministry said on Wednesday.
"The decision was made to issue a temporary authorization to Aeroflot group of companies for 56 out of 156 international routes of Transaero for the purpose of ensuring air traffic continuity and preventing large-scale failures to carry passengers that bought tickets to Transaero flights," the ministry said.
The temporary authorization will be valid from October 26, 2015 to October 30, 2016, with an option of further renewal depending on expenses sustained by Aeroflot. At the same time, domestic routes can be redistributed among other carriers without any restrictions whatsoever, the ministry reported.
Russia's Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov earlier mentioned such a decision.
"We have made a decision to transfer a part of these routes to Aeroflot. But it is just a small piece of the remaining pie of more than 140 international flight routes Transaero had. Aeroflot will receive around 55-56 of these routes, perhaps; the others will be freely distributed between other companies in the market," the minister said.
"The shareholders themselves valued the Transaero brand at 60 bln rubles ($954 mln), but today it's difficult to sell the company even for one ruble. So the brand is not worth twopence, as the saying goes," Sokolov added in an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Sokolov said that what's most important is "competitive companies still remain on the market, and the industry as whole will reach its goals of transporting passengers."
On October 1 Prime Minister Medvedev's cabinet made the decision to bankrupt Transaero, an airline with 250 bln rubles ($3.98 bln) worth of debt and under the operational management of Aeroflot. The carrier no longer sells tickets and previously sold tickets with a return date after December 15 will be annulled.