Posted on: 10 October 2013 by Mark Howells
Aeroflot Group has introduced a new budget airline subsidiary named Dobrolet, taking the name of the joint-stock company established in 1923, which was a predecessor of today's Aeroflot.
Based in the Moscow region, Dobrolet’s fleet will consist of Boeing 737-800s in a single-class configuration. Operations are expected to begin in spring of 2014. At the initial stage the airline will fly to the most popular destinations in the European part of Russia.
Dobrolet plans to reduce ticket costs by up to 40% compared with "traditional" carriers. It plans to achieve this in several ways, including: an increase in the number of seats by reducing the seat pitch and fixed backrests; only direct ticket sales; an additional payment for a comfort seat, checked baggage, priority boarding, and meals on board; a possibility to book and sell additional services online at the company's website.
Aeroflot owns 100% of shares in the new company and plans to invest an estimated $100 million in the project over the first two years. The airline will operate eight aircraft in the year of the launch, with planned annual fleet growth of around eight aircraft a year. Vladimir Gorbunov has been appointed director general of Dobrolet.
"A low-cost carrier in Russia will not fly unless we harmonise our legislation with the existing norms of the global industry, such as non-refundable tickets, meals on board for a fee, baggage fees, the ability to hire pilots – residents of foreign countries, primarily to reduce the shortage of aircraft captains," commented Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev. “We expect the appropriate legislative decisions to be taken by the end of this year. By doing so, the state will contribute greatly to the launch of the project of such huge importance for Russia."
The livery for the new airline was created by renowned design house Landor, which has done work for many airlines including bmi, Japan Air Lines and Gulf Air.