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Company News

05 February 2009

Aeroflot plans with CSA

Aeroflot confirms its interest in buying a stake in Czech Airlines

Prague, 5th February 2009

The Czech government has today launched the tender for the sale of the Czech Republic’s ownership interest in Czech Airlines (CSA). As a result OJSC Aeroflot - Russian Airlines officially announces its interest to follow up on the long-standing partnership of the both companies and take part in the privatisation of CSA.

“According to European rules, Aeroflot, not being an EC resident, cannot seek more than a 49 per cent stake in CSA. In the CSA privatization deal, we aim to have a partner who would be a Czech resident. Aeroflot is talking to prospective partners and will be able to declare its choice shortly,” says Aeroflot’s CEO Valery Okulov.

Aeroflot is one of the fastest growing European carriers and through such partnership will strengthen the synergy effect with CSA and make both companies more profitable.

“The experience on such routes as Prague – Moscow and Karlovy Vary – Moscow proved beneficial for both companies. CSA is the largest and most stable airline in Central Europe in economic and market terms. By joining and mutually expanding their route networks, Aeroflot and CSA will be able to become more profitable. The synergy is certainly there. We started our co-operation long before any global alliances appeared. We have even more in common now that both belong to the same global alliance, SkyTeam,” adds Okulov.

Aeroflot plans with CSA
In case of winning the CSA tender Aeroflot will keep the company as the Czech flag carrier. CSA will retain its brand, identity and traditions. It will get an ability to operate on a much wider scale, a better access to transit in Russia and other former Soviet republics. CSA is supposed to fly far beyond Moscow. At the same time, Aeroflot expects a better access to a number of destinations in Europe.

Aeroflot and Ruzyne airport
Aeroflot intends to privatise only CSA. There are no such plans for Prague’s Ruzyne International Airport . Although it may expect significant progress in business. Aeroflot will stick to its business which is to run air transportation, not airports.

Russian Government’s role in Aeroflot
Board of Directors: Out of its 11 members, just three represent the Russian government. The rest eight are independent directors and representatives of minority stakeholders. Thus, the Russian state is represented by less than 30 per cent directors on Aeroflot?s Board while possessing a 51 per cent stake of the company. This is a result of intentional policy of attracting independent directors, so that the commercial interests of the company would not be overshadowed by the political interests of the government. This is a principle of Aeroflot?s  corporate policy and culture based on internationally recognised rules of corporate governance..
According to the European rules, Aeroflot, not being an EU-based company, can not seek more than a 49 per cent stake in CSA. The same thing pertains to CSA’s executive bodies.      

Safety and quality in Aeroflot
The company has undergone necessary audits according to the most stringent international standards. Aeroflot is included into the IOSA (IATA’s Operational Safety Audit) Registry. It has an up-to-date quality management system. Our flight personnel school is well known and recognized in the world. No major incident with loss of life has been recorded for the last 15 years.  
Aeroflot?s financial situation
Aeroflot is in good financial health. Aeroflot started September with a zero credit portfolio, and it finished the year 2008 with good results which are expected to be at the level of 2007.

Editor’s Notes:
OJSC “Aeroflot – Russian Airlines” is based in Moscow, Russia, at the Sheremetyevo Airport. The company was established in 1923. It is Russia’s largest air carrier with 45% of international and 12.5% (17% counting affiliated companies) of domestic carriages in Russia. Aeroflot flies to 95 destinations in 49 countries. In 2008 it carried 9.27 million passengers (around 12 million together with its subsidiaries). The airline has a fleet of 90 aircraft. Aeroflot is a member of the global airline alliance Sky Team.