In Brief: Europe

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Failed AirUnion to be replaced

A new airline, tentatively called Rossiyskie Avialinie (Russian Airways), is to replace the failed AirUnion consortium. State-dominated Russian Technologies will contribute 51%, while the Moscow Government, primarily through its Atlant-Soyuz carrier, will hold the remaining 49%. Atlant-Soyuz and viable assets of the defunct AirUnion carriers will constitute the core of the new airline. Other airlines are expected to come under its umbrella at a later stage.

Tax breaks for aircraft imports

The Russian Government is expected to extend the 20% import duty and VAT for passenger aircraft seating more than 300 passengers, which are due to expire on 1 November. In the meantime, Rossiya and Transaero Airlines have been working towards meeting the current deadline. The former plans to take delivery of several Boeing 767-300ERs, while Transaero is seeking up to five more 747-400s, as well as 777s. Russia has already abolished customs duty for aircraft carrying less than 50 passengers from next year.

Royal treatment from Transaero

Transaero Airlines has introduced an exclusive Imperial Class on long-haul routes flown by its Boeing 747-400s and 777s, to add to its Business, Premium Economy and Tourist Economy classes. Imperial Class seats 12 passengers in a 1-2-1 configuration, who will be pampered from the purchase of the ticket through to the in-flight service. Among the benefits are a personal information hotline, individual LCD TVs and multimedia players.