Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a decree ordering the merger of government-owned Pulkovo Airlines with state transport company Rossiya. The merger will take about a year to complete, because the first step will require the separation of Pulkovo into two units, the airline division and the airport in St Petersburg.

Last year Pulkovo - Russia's third-largest commercial airline - carried more than 2.4 million passengers, while Rossiya carried 481,000, making it the 13th-largest.

Both airlines have large fleets of Soviet era types, although Pulkovo is poised to issue a request for proposals for up 20 Western aircraft, likely to be Airbus A320 family or Boeing 737 Classic/Next Generation models. Rossiya's main role is to provide executive transport for government personnel.



Source: Flight International