Russia's Norilsk Nickel seals pact to found Krasnoyarsk airline

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Russian metals and mining company Norilsk Nickel agreed with the local Krasnoyarsk government to establish a new carrier in the region.

The airline will be based on the assets of air enterprises KrasAvia and Norilsk's in-house Taimyr Avia which flies under the NordStar brand.

Norilsk Nickel says the intention is to ensure a "reliable air service" from Krasnoyarsk Airport and to replace "obsolete" aircraft.

The airline is intended to begin operating a full flight schedule from early 2011.

Krasnoyarsk local territorial authorities will provide funding for equipping the region's airports while the metals firm will commit to supplying aircraft.

The plan also envisages the creation of a maintenance company at Krasnoyarsk's main airport to service the fleet.

Between June 2009 and March 2010, says Norilsk Nickel, NordStar has transported over 200,000 passengers.

"We hope that co-operation with the Krasnoyarsk territory will be mutually beneficial and fruitful," it adds.