Russian carrier Transaero made a loss of Rb355 million last year ($16.7 million at end-of-year exchange rates), down from Rb374 million in 1997. The Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport-based carrier - Russia's third largest - has reported turnover of Rb1.9 billion for last year, compared with Rb1.7 billion in the previous 12 months.

Given the fluctuations in the value of the rouble, which collapsed in August last year, the figures mean that Transaero's loss has been reduced by three-quarters in dollar terms, although sales have also been reduced in worth by a similar amount.

Chairman Alexander Pleshakov has set a target of profitability this year, following a range of cost-cutting measures which have seen the airline reduce manning levels by 60% and cut its fleet to eight aircraft through the return to lessors of three McDonnell Douglas DC-10s, five Boeing 757s and a Boeing 737-200.

Transaero had struggled to meet the lease payments, which were made in dollars.

Source: Flight International