Two Russian airlines – one of them the Soviet-era flag-carrier Aeroflot – could be flying regular services to Bali by year’s end with the announcement last weekend that the transport ministry is set to approve operating licences.
State-owned Aeroflot and private airline Transaero – which has already been operating twice-weekly charter flights from Moscow – are expected to start scheduled services by December, when the peak Russian winter holiday period begins.
Flight permits for the two Russian airlines were part of an aviation service cooperation agreed upon by Indonesia and Russian at a meeting in Russia on April 29-30.
A transport ministry official said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Jakarta some time ago had been upgraded to a record of discussion (RoD) containing a number of agreements related to exchange of traffic rights, code sharing arrangements, aircraft leasing and associated matters.
With a code share agreement, national flag-carrier Garuda could promote and sell flights to Moscow, Vladivostok, St Petersburg and Novosibirsk on Aeroflot services.
In turn, Aeroflot could sell connecting flights from Bali to Jakarta, Solo and Manado on Garuda flights.
Aeroflot now flies almost exclusively Boeing and Airbus aircraft on international routes. Transaero also uses Boeing jets.