Lufthansa and the Russian airline alliance AiRUnion have announced plans to expand their services within Russia in order to offer their respective passengers a wider choice of flights. Both carriers have signed a corresponding Memorandum of
Understanding towards the development of a strategic partnership, which initially
foresees the reciprocal sale of tickets from the summer of 2008 and, in the medium
term, code-share flights and cooperation on their frequent flyer programmes.
AiRUnion operates a comprehensive route network and offers flights to 35
destinations in all the important regions of Russia. Under the partnership
agreement, these domestic connections will complement Lufthansa’s extensive
services. Lufthansa already offers 200 flights per week to 18 destinations in Russia
and the CIS and is thus one of the leading western European airlines operating in
“Russia is an important destination for our customers - and it is growing
steadily in significance. Together with AiRUnion, we will be able to provide a dense
network of connections within Russia for our passengers and thus crucially improve
our position in this up-and-coming market,” said Lufthansa CEO and Chairman
Wolfgang Mayrhuber. “This cooperation is also important in strategic terms, as we
aim to develop the partnership between Lufthansa and AiRUnion into an important and
strong alliance in Russia.”
AiRUnion is an alliance of the five Russian carriers KrasAir, Domodedovo Airlines,
Sibaviatrans, Omskavia and Samara, which was founded in 2004 on the initiative of
KrasAir. AiRUnion aims to establish an efficient and ramified route network based on
a multi-hub system. At present, its route network not only extends throughout Russia
but also encompasses the CIS states and other countries.
AiRUnion’s fleet comprises more than 70 aircraft, including the Russian aircraft
types IL-96, Tu-204, Tu-214, Tu-154M, IL-86 as well as the western aircraft types
Boeing 767, Boeing 757 and Boeing 737.