Aeroflot to discuss ground handling jv with Sheremetyevo

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Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot is considering setting up a joint venture with its base airport Moscow Sheremetyevo to provide ground handling services.

The two sides have agreed to discuss the issue shortly at a special meeting of their governing boards.

It is suggested that Aeroflot and Sheremetyevo will each hold a 25% stake in the proposed handling company.

Airport authority director Mikhail Vasilenko says the rest of the equity may be offered to a foreign partner who should be "one of the world leaders in this field".

"Our goal is to achieve a qualitatively new level of handling services," he says. "It's a difficult low-margin business which requires substantial investment from the start."

A spokesman for Aeroflot says it is willing to study all options to outsource ground handling functions to a third party, which could also service its SkyTeam partners at Sheremetyevo.