Russia’s first low-fare carrier, Sky Express, could be in line to receive funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as the airline prepares to commence services this year, writes David Kaminski-Morrow.

Under a proposal the EBRD would provide up to $20 million in funding for the carrier. The airline’s overall initial capital will be $48 million and the EBRD would contribute alongside private equity investors and local entrepreneurs.

While the EBRD has disclosed initial details of the plan, which it has labelled “Project Springboard”, the financing organisation’s board has yet to approve the funding. The board date is set for 17 October. Sky Express is intending to operate domestic services to a range of destinations from Moscow Vnukovo Airport.

In a project summary document the EBRD says that it will require the airline to comply with international civil aviation safety and environmental standards, adding that the carrier plans to implement the International Air Transport Association’s operational safety audit training programme. “This will be the first low-cost airline in the Russian Federation and new patterns in the air transport sector will be introduced,” says the EBRD document, summarising the impact of the carrier’s establishment.

It adds that the development of a low-cost service will “further push for consolidation and modernisation” of the airline industry in Russia and that the necessary ground-service efficiency will “drive the upgrading and expansion” of the air transport infrastructure.

Source: Flight International