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Company News

15 April 2010

Aeroflot and Megafon Introduce Mobile Telecommunications On Board

April 15, 2010. Moscow - Russia’s biggest air carrier JSC Aeroflot Russian Airlines and first all-Russian mobile operator JSC MegaFon have agreed to install MegaFon’s base stations on Aeroflot’s aircraft. For the first time in Russia, Aeroflot and MegaFon will deliver passengers an opportunity to use mobile phones and the Internet in flight.

‘Aeroflot has recently won the ‘Wings of Russia’ award in the nomination ‘Air Carrier of the Year – Passengers’ Choice’. This means our customers acknowledge Aeroflot’s leadership in implementing innovative high-tech servicing solutions. Mobile telephony on board an aircraft is a breakthrough for the Russian aviation. Aeroflot always strives to keep abreast of the times. With the advance of new technologies and new global mobility comes the necessity to reflect the market trends and provide the services the consumer wants. Aeroflot passengers are often business people to whom making calls during a flight is not a whim but a must. And we want our customers to have the maximum comfort,’ says Vitaly Savelyev, Aeroflot CEO.

‘An innovative operator, MegaFon constantly expands the mobile telecoms application area for the benefit of all Russian citizens. Our partnership with the national air transport leader opens new perspectives of yet another sphere – on-board mobile phone support, which is new for Russia,’ says Sergey Soldatenkov, MegaFon CEO. ‘We expect in-flight telecoms services to enjoy wide popularity among our customers, especially business people, to whom staying online is vital. This innovative project will literally take mobile telecommunications in Russia to a new height.’

MegaFon is going to mount its base stations on four Aeroflot’s airliners in 2010. The first aircraft to host a mobile telecommunications network by MegaFon will be a medium-haul passenger airliner Airbus А320. The developers expect that already in summer 2010 the aircraft will be able to provide telecommunications services to its passengers. By the year end, Aeroflot and MegaFon are planning to deliver the innovative service to passengers of an Airbus А330 performing transcontinental flights (over 5,000 km), and two more Airbus А320s.

Compliance with safety requirements in passenger air transport is the critical condition of the new service provision. In accordance with the Russian legislative requirements, all equipment facilitating passengers’ free access to telecommunications will be operated on the altitudes of over 3,000 meters.

Mobile telephony and data services on board will be provided to GSM users in 1,800 kHz bandwidth. As a first step, passengers will be offered mobile Internet access and SMS service. As an additional option, WiFi Internet access will be implemented on the long-haul flights. Telecommunications services will be available to subscribers of MegaFon and other Russian and foreign mobile operators having roaming agreements with JSC MegaFon in place. The telecoms operator will publish its tariffs in Summer 2010, prior to the new service commercial launch.

AEROFLOT is Russia’s leading air carrier, member of the global SkyTeam alliance. Its consolidated route network covers 856 destinations in 169 countries. In 2009, Aeroflot carried 8.755 million passengers.
Aeroflot holds the first place in passenger service on economy-class short- and medium-haul flights, and business-class long-haul flights among SkyTeam European airlines. Aeroflot’s leading position was discovered based on SkyTeam’s Onboard Survey results for April – September 2009.
Aeroflot was the first Russian carrier to enter the IOSA Registry, and has multiple times confirmed the certificate. Aeroflot has successfully passed the ISAGO (IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations) procedure. The company’s Quality Management System is certified for compliance with ISO 9001:2000.
Aeroflot operates one of Europe’s youngest air fleets that consists of 115 aircraft. Aeroflot is based in Moscow, at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. Find more at

Joint Stock Company MegaFon was established on May 2002. MegaFon has been the first and only operator to successfully deploy its network in all regions of Russia. The network covers the territory with a population of 142 million.
The company is also the first in Russia to have launched a 3G UMTS network.. Today, its 3G networks have been deployed in the most Russian regions.
In 2009, MegaFon became General Partner of XXII Winter Olympic Games Sochi-2014.
As of the last General Meeting of Stockholders date, the major stockholders of JSC MegaFon are LLC AF Telecom Holding, TeliaSonera Group, and Altimo. 
The company has over 51.6 million active subscribers.