Russian government subsidises 17 regional carriers

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The Russian government has launched an enhanced programme of state support for carriers providing scheduled regional services.

The programme, effective from 20 April through to 30 November, envisages allocating Rb1.3 billion ($43 million) in subsidies to 17 qualifying airlines.

Rosaviatsia says it has introduced a uniform system of subsidising economy-class fares on 32 selected routes in the north-western, Siberian, Ural and far east federal districts.

On 1 April, the regulator applied similar arrangements to scheduled services within the Volga federal district and to the country's westernmost Kaliningrad exclave.

All Russian citizens are eligible for subsidised fares, whereas previous seasonal pilot programmes had been restricted to particular categories of passengers, such as those in the military, pensioners or students.

Rosaviatsia forecasts that the selected carriers could transport more than 200.000 additional passengers as a result of the move.