Aeroflot to launch new low-cost carrier

Dobrolet to focus on domestic routes from 2014

Russia’s national carrier Aeroflot plans to launch a low-cost airline in spring 2014, making fares up to 40% cheaper than its current ticket prices.

The new carrier’s name, Dobrolet, translates approximately as “Goodflight”. Dobrolet was the name of a joint-stock company established in 1923, a predecessor of today’s Aeroflot.

It will focus on domestic routes from Moscow to St Petersburg, Samara and Ekaterinburg, but by 2016 it also aims to fly to Kiev and Istanbul.

Aeroflot says the fleet of the new airline will consist of Boeing 737-800NGs in one-class configuration. The reduction of transportation costs by up to 40% will be achieved by reducing the pitch between seats and fixed backrests; only having direct ticket sales; additional payments for a “comfort seat”, checked baggage, priority boarding and meals on board; and the possibility to book and sell additional services online on the company’s web site.

Aeroflot will own 100% of the shares in the new company and estimated investment in the project will be around $100 million over the first two years. The airline will operate eight planes in the first year with annual fleet growth planned at eight aircraft per year.

Reuters / TTG Nordic

[pictured: Dobrolet was originally a predecessor of Aeroflot]