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Post-Soviet Aeroflot

The "winged hammer and sickle" is the most recognisable symbol of Aeroflot.

The "winged hammer and sickle" on an Aeroflot uniform.
In the early 1990s, the Soviet Union underwent massive political upheavals, culminating in the dissolution of the country. Countries declared their independence during January 1990 – December 1991, resulting in the establishment of 15 republics. Up until that time, Aeroflot had been the only establishment providing air services throughout the CIS, but with the breakup of the Soviet Union, Aeroflot branches of these countries began their own services, and the airline itself came under control of Russia, the largest of the CIS republics, and was renamed Aeroflot – Russian International Airlines (ARIA). Actually, it was in 1992 that Aeroflot was divided into a number of regional airlines,[16] whereas international routes were operated by ARIA.[15] Smaller regional airlines which emerged from the old Aeroflot were sometimes referred to as Babyflots; Bashkirian Airlines, Krasnoyarsk Airlines, Moscow Airways and Tatarstan Airlines were among the carriers that were formed from former Aeroflot directorates.


A new Airbus A321 holds for departure whilst an Ilyushin Il-96 lands at Aeroflot's Moscow-Sheremetyevo hub
In 1994, Aeroflot was registered as a joint-stock company and the government sold off 49% of its stake to Aeroflot employees. During the 1990s, Aeroflot was primarily focused on international flights from Moscow. However, by the end of the decade Aeroflot started an expansion in the domestic market. In 2000 the company name was changed to Aeroflot – Russian Airlines to reflect the change in the company strategy.

Since the dissolution, Aeroflot has been actively working towards promoting and redefining itself as a safe and reliable airline. In the early 2000s, the airline hired British consultants for rebranding.[20] From the start, plans were afoot to replace the old Soviet-era hammer and sickle logo, which some people in the West viewed as a reminder of the Soviet communist era; despite this the logo was not scrapped, as it was the most recognisable symbol of the company for over 70 years.[20] A new livery and uniforms for flight attendants were designed and a promotional campaign launched in 2003. It carried 5.9 million passengers in 2003.

Its fleet has undergone a major reorganisation during which most of the Soviet aircraft were replaced by Western-built jets; costs over fuel consumption rather than safety concerns were cited for such a movement.[21] A320/A319s for short-haul flights in Europe and Boeing 767 and Airbus A330 for long-haul routes had been gradually incorporated into the fleet. In the spring of 2004 an expansion on the domestic market was undertaken, aiming to gain 30% share by 2010 (as of 2006 it held approximately 9%). The first task was to outperform S7 Airlines, a major rival and the leader in the domestic market. On 29 July 2004 a new corporate slogan was adopted: "Sincerely Yours. Aeroflot".

Recent developments[edit]
In April 2006,[23] Aeroflot became the tenth airline to join SkyTeam,[24] and the first air carrier in the former Soviet Union to do so.[8] The company announced its plan to increase cargo operations. It registered the Aeroflot-Cargo trademark in 2006.[25] During that year Aeroflot carried 7,290,000 passengers and 145,300 tons of mail and cargo[26] to 89 destinations in 47 countries.[27] It saw improvements in its earnings and number of passengers carried. The net profit reached $309.4 million (RUB 7.98 billion) in 2006, a 32.3% increase from 2005 earnings of only $234 million (RUB6.03 billion). The revenue for the same 2005–2006 period rose by 13.5% to reach $2.77 billion with an 8.7% gain in passenger numbers.[28]

Aeroflot became the sole shareholder of Donavia—a domestic airline then-named Aeroflot-Don[29]—in December 2006, when it boosted its stake in the company from 51% to 100%;[30] soon afterwards, Aeroflot-Nord was created following the buyout of Arkhangelsk Airlines.[31] As of March 2007, Aeroflot was owned by the Russian Government via Rosimushchestvo (51.17%), National Reserve Corporation (27%) and employees and others (19%), and has 14,900 employees.[32]


A Rossiya Boeing 767-300ER lands at Pulkovo Airport. As of November 2011, Rossiya and four other Russian carriers were owned by Aeroflot through its sister company Aeroflot-Finance.[33]
In February 2010, the Russian government announced that all regional airlines owned by the state through the holding company Rostechnologii would be consolidated with the national carrier Aeroflot in order to increase the airlines' financial viability.[34] The merger was completed in late November 2011 in a deal worth US$81 million, Aeroflot's sister company Aeroflot-Finance became the major shareholder of Vladivostok Avia, Saravia and Rossiya Airlines, and the sole shareholder of both SAT Airlines and Orenair.[33] It was reported in January 2012 that Saravia was sold to private investors, as the recent-acquired regional airline was not in line with Aeroflot's business strategy.[35] It was reported in June 2013 that in the third quarter of the same year Aeroflot would combine its subsidiaries Vladivostok Air and SAT Airlines into a new subsidiary regional carrier based in the Russian Far East.[36] The subsidiary was effectively created in September 2013 and was originally named Taiga Airline before later being renamed Aurora Airline.[37][38] The new company, 51%-owned by Aeroflot, was expected to link Moscow with the Russian Far East, whereas SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia were expected to cease operations in early 2014.[39]

In June 2013, during the World Airline Awards which took place at the 50th Le Bourget air show, Aeroflot was awarded the international prize as the best air carrier in Eastern Europe.[40] In October, the company introduced an affiliated low-cost carrier (LCC), Dobrolet.[41][42] The LCC started operations in June 2014;[43] they ceased on 4 August 2014 owing to EU sanctions over the airline launching flights to Crimea.[44][45] In late August 2014, Aeroflot announced the launch of a new LCC in October 2014 to replace Dobrolet; it will use aircraft transferred from Orenair. The new LCC, named Pobeda, started operations from Vnukovo Airport in December 2014;[47][48] it has plans to fly to Belgorod, Kazan, Perm, Samara, Surgut, Tyumen, Ufa, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg.

For the year ending 31 December 2013, Aeroflot registered a profit of 7.3 billion roubles, an increase of 41.9% over 2012, partly attributed to an 18.4% rise in passenger traffic to 20.9 million.

In March 2014 as a response to 2014 Ukrainian revolution the company announced rerouting their flights to avoid flying over the territory of Ukraine. The announcement (together with worse than expected financial results) caused an almost 10% drop in the share price of the company.

Corporate affairs
Headquarters

The light yellow building, 10 Arbat Street, has the headquarters of Aeroflot
The headquarters of Aeroflot are located in Arbat District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow.[53] By 2009 Aeroflot began leasing 7,000 square metres (75,000 sq ft) of space from a class A office building on Arbat Street owned by Midland Development. As of that year Aeroflot had plans to build a dedicated 35,000 square metres (380,000 sq ft) headquarters in proximity to Sheremetyevo Airport.

Key people
As of December 2014, Aeroflot's CEO position is held by Vitaly Savelyev. Savelyev was appointed on 10 April 2009 and succeeded Valery Okulov. Expiring in April 2014, The Russian government extended Savelyev's appointment for another five years.

Ownership and subsidiaries
As of December 2013, Aeroflot was 51% state-owned. The Aeroflot Group, Russia’s largest airline holding company, includes several subsidiaries: Donavia, Rossiya Airlines, Orenair, and Aurora.At that time, the Aeroflot Group employed 30,328; 17,678 of these people worked for Aeroflot JSC.

 

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