Ireland approaches Russia over Ryanair expansion

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Ryanair appears to be seeking government approval to launch flights to Russia.

A spokesman for Russia's transport ministry says it has received a note from the Irish foreign office encouraging it to nominate Ryanair as a designated carrier between the two countries.

He added that the ministry will set the date for re-negotiating the bilateral agreement between Ireland and Russia shortly.

Siberia-based S7 Airlines, which operates weekly Moscow-Dublin flights in the summer season, says it plans to adhere to the current schedule on the route.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has previously indicated that he has engaged several Russian airports in preliminary talks over the possible addition of new routes.

Last week, Russian regulators submitted proposals to allow foreign low-cost carriers to fly domestic routes with a view to advancing competition in the under-served internal market.