Aeroflot In Talks With Potential JV Partners

April 15, 2016

Aeroflot is in talks with potential partners about a joint venture the state-controlled carrier's deputy chief executive said on Friday, without naming them.

Airlines across the world, bound by restrictions on outright cross-border mergers, have been seeking joint ventures instead to help generate higher sales through revenue-sharing deals on certain routes where they agree to coordinate schedules and prices for flights.

Deputy chief executive Giorgio Callegari confirmed that Aeroflot, which is a member of the SkyTeam alliance with 19 other international airlines, is in talks with multiple potential partners regarding a possible joint venture, but would not name them.

"That's something that out of respect for the counterparts we cannot disclose," he told reporters at an event in London.

Joint venture deals signed in the industry recently include a tie-up between IAG, American Airlines and LATAM Airlines announced in January, and Lufthansa's agreement with Singapore Airlines in November.

Callegari said Aeroflot wanted some of the action.

"The industry is innovating and looking at the different set-up in terms of partnerships and as a global airline we do the same. We are looking at all the options," he said.

When asked about media reports which said the Russian state, owner of just over 51 percent of Aeroflot, could seek to sell some of its shares, Callegari said that was a matter for the company's shareholders, and that management's focus was on making sure the company performs.

Aeroflot has been operating in a difficult environment in Russia, whose economy has been hit by Western sanctions, a low oil price and a weak rouble. Those conditions caused the collapse last year of Russia's second-biggest airline, Transaero, and left Aeroflot more reliant on domestic traffic.

Asked about Aeroflot's fleet plans, and specifically an order for 22 787 Dreamliner jets which the airline signed with Boeing in 2007, Callegari declined to comment.