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    Air traffic watchdog may stop servicing three Russian airlines

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    MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's air traffic watchdog warned three of the countries' airlines on Tuesday - Dalavia, Domodedovo Airlines and Interavia - that it may stop servicing them if they do not repay their debts.

    "The air navigation servicing of planes of these companies will be stopped on October 20, 2006 if their debts are not repaid," the Federal Air Navigation Service said.

    The agency said in a statement that the companies have ignored the service's repeated demands that they repay their debts, which is damaging plans for the modernization and improvement of air traffic control.

    The agency said that the debt of Dalavia totals 4.4 million rubles (about $162,000), while Domodedovo Airlines and Interavia owe 3.417 million rubles ($127,000) and 469,000 rubles ($17,000), respectively.

    The move, if implemented, could have a crucial impact on Russia's air transportation, as Moscow-based Domodedovo Airlines is one of Russia's largest air carriers operating long-range flights in Russia and abroad, and Khabarovsk-based Dalavia is a major regional player in the Far-East.

    Alexander Neradko, head of the Russian Federal Air Transportation Agency, said earlier that Russia currently has one of the lowest tariffs in the world, and the civil aviation authority is planning to increase tariffs for air navigation services provided to domestic and foreign airlines.

    Neradko said Russia would introduce a 90% increase on air navigation services for domestic carriers on November 1, 2006, with tariffs for foreign airlines to be increased from 2007.

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