The Russian government will provide annual subsidies worth a total of one billion rubles ($32 million) for 82 regional air companies over the next three years to guarantee transport links with remote areas, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"We defined a number of routes in four of the country's federal districts," Transport Minister Igor Levitin told Putin at a government meeting. "We chose those air routes between inhabited locations that do not have railway transport links," he said.
Levitin also hopes the regional authorities will participate in the deal, which will provide air transportation for about 300,000 people a year.
"People in these regions will be able to travel under a special half-price tariff for the first time. We have also introduced priority rights to grant subsidies to airlines that use late model planes (made in Russia)," the transport minister added.