Dobrolet plumps for Sheremetyevo base

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Aeroflot low-cost subsidiary Dobrolet is to launch operations from Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.

The airline had been considering Domodedovo or Vnukovo as alternatives to Sheremetyevo, which is its parent’s base.

But Aeroflot managing director Vitaly Saveliev says it failed to reach a deal with the other airport administrations.

“They set unjust requirements,” he says. “Hosting Dobrolet at Domodedovo was made conditional on transferring there our main operation. This is unacceptable for us.

“Vnukovo’s administration referred to the lack of aircraft stands for overnight parking, even though we were prepared to pay full parking fees.”

Sheremetyevo director general Mikhail Vasilenko says Dobrolet could operate from Terminal B, which formerly catered to domestic flights and “charges the lowest fees compared with five other terminals”.

This option, however, provides a temporary solution because the terminal will only remain in service until next year. Afterwards, it will be demolished and replaced by a new one with annual throughput capacity of 15 million passengers, says Vasilenko.

Meanwhile, work is under way on transforming Zhukovsky’s Ramenskoye airfield, located 40km southeast of Moscow, into a multifunctional complex designed to accommodate freight and low-cost operators.

The first phase of the project steered by industrial conglomerate Rostec is due for completion in 2015. Dobrolet is said to be nearing negotiations with the site management and project consultant Avia Solutions Group.