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Russian Government Says Allocated $316.1 Million to Airlines to Make Up for COVID-Related Losses

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the mediabankAeroflot's Boeing 777 at Sheremetyevo international airport.
Aeroflot's Boeing 777 at Sheremetyevo international airport. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian government has allocated 23.4 billion rubles ($316.1 million) to support Russian airlines in connection with the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the government said in a statement.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave instructions to support air carriers.

"Domestic airlines will receive 23.4 billion rubles in compensation for losses associated with the spread of the new coronavirus infection. Such a resolution was approved by the government", the statement said.

The subsidy can be spent on salaries for aviation personnel (at least 60 percent of the total subsidy), leasing payments (no more than 30 percent of the total), aircraft parking fees (no more than 10 percent of the total), and on operating activities and property maintenance.

"As explained by the Transport Ministry, in order to receive a subsidy, the airline must submit a statement to Rosaviatsiya (Federal Air Transport Agency) with the necessary package of documents. The final decision is made within 20 working days after the receipt of the application. During the development of the resolution, active consultations were held with market participants", the statement reads.

Amid the spread of the new coronavirus infection, air transportation has found itself among the most affected sectors of the economy. Subsidies allocated by the state will help airlines survive the period of restrictions associated with the difficult epidemiological situation and will help maintain the human resources potential of civil aviation.

On 27 March, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia stopped regular and charter flights with other countries. The exceptions are flights to take citizens home, as well as cargo, mail, sanitary and humanitarian flights, flights of empty planes for maintenance, transit flights with landing for refuelling or changing crews in Russia and flights carried out in line with individual decisions of the Russian government. Airlines also reduced domestic flights due to falling demand

As of 13 May, Russia has registered 242,271 coronavirus cases and 2,212 fatalities, according to the data provided by the national coronavirus response centre. More than 48,000 people have recovered.

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