Russia's UTAir appears to have engaged in wide-ranging negotiations with a view to joining the Star Alliance.
Speaking in Moscow, the carrier's chief Andrei Martirosov revealed that it plans to shortly conclude a number of agreements with Star members in preparation for further steps.
Declining to specify the timeframe, he said: "Talks are underway and we need to weigh all pros and cons. Applying for membership suggests achieving a balance of interests."
One of the issues is UTAir's long-haul fleet modernisation, said Martirosov, indicating that the airline would soon take delivery of eight second-hand Boeing 767 aircraft.
"In addition, we're in talks with manufacturers about acquiring an equal number of new 767s or Airbus A330s," he added.