Sibir, Russia's fifth largest airline, has concluded a comprehensive interline agreement with Lufthansa allowing the airlines to sell through-flights to destinations on either company's network.

The deal with Lufthansa follows a 1998 agreement on cargo and confirms that the German airline is satisfied with the service standard improvements achieved by Novosibirsk-based Sibir. The link, which is effective immediately, does not extend to other Star Alliance airlines. Neither side will comment on possible future developments.

The carrier's recent growth has seen it climb to fifth place in the Russian airline rankings, in terms of traffic volume. Sibir's network includes over 20 Russian and CIS cities as well as three German destinations - Munich (from Moscow) and Frankfurt and Hanover (from Novosibirsk).

Sibir becomes the second Russian airline to ratify a tie-up with a major international airline partner. Transaero has an agreement in place with Continental Airlines, and although Aeroflot is joining the Air France/Delta Air Lines alliance, an implementation date has not been announced.

Source: Flight International