MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's arbitration court upheld on Monday tax claims worth 230 million rubles ($7.4 million) against Lufthansa, rejecting the German airline's appeal of an earlier ruling.
In December 2007, the Federal Tax Service's Moscow inspectorate demanded the airline pay sales tax, highway use tax and the tax on housing and maintenance of "social-cultural facilities" for 1999-2001.
Lufthansa lawyers argued that a 1971 agreement on air links between the Soviet Union and Germany granted Lufthansa an exemption from paying taxes in Russia, just as Russian flagship air carrier Aeroflot was exempted from paying taxes in Germany.
The tax authorities said the agreement exempted the company from paying only certain kinds of taxes.
Lufthansa Group is one of the world's largest air carriers, serving more than 50 million passengers annually, including over 1.5 million on its Russian routes.
In late April, the company announced a first-quarter net loss of 256 million euros (then $290 million) as the sector was hit by the global economic crisis and the airline's turnover fell 11%. Lufthansa's profit in the same period of 2008 was 44 million euros.