Russian flag carrier Aeroflot's performance has been dented by the downturn since 11 September, though the airline is forecasting around 15% growth for the year.

In the two months after 11 September, losses are running at $18 million, and passenger numbers are 100,000 below forecast, says general director Valery Okulov. The airline carried 5.1 million passengers in the 10 months to 2 November, 17.7% up on 2000. In October, passenger traffic went up only 0.3%, while cargo traffic was down by up to 9%. The carrier may well miss its target of six million passengers this year despite offering return deals to any European city for $99. Though further losses are expected, Aeroflot should make a small profit of 133 million roubles ($4.5 million) for the year.

The carrier has grounded its Ilyushin Il-62s, limited Il-86 use to charter services - shifting workload to smaller Tupolev Tu-154M and Boeing 737 - and delayed plans to replace two Il-76TDfreighters with McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30Fs.

Source: Flight International