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Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 5:03 am

A Domodedovo Airlines (E3) Il-96-300 flight was sabotaged today at Krasnoyark (KJA) at 8:15 am (local time).

But this is not a story of an attempted hijacking or a bomb threat by radicals. It is the story of something even more sinister.

Today was the inaugural flight by Domodedovo Airlines on the Domedodovo (DME) - KJA route. KJA is one of those airports in Russia which is fiercely protected from competition by the airport's owner, KrasAir (7B), and the local regional government; so much so that Aeroflot, the country's largest airline, does not fly into the airport because the local authorities refused to give it the necessary licences.

The inbound KJA flight was apparently without incident, obviously with a small media contingent on board. The return flight to DME had 53 passengers booked, including the airline's Deputy Director-General, Alexander Russ.

Apparently the ground handling (also owned by 7B) at KJA refused to service the aircraft for over an hour by now driving the stairs to the aircraft. The ground handling department then advised the passengers on board the E3 flight that the flight (which was due to depart at 10:40am) was delayed for "several" hours, and then had been cancelled. 7B then organised a "special" charter flight to take the passengers back to DME. Of course, this charter flight was organised by 7B and on 7B aircraft. Also, 7B at no time advised passengers as to what was the cause of the delay.

Quite obviously, KrasAir used the inaugural flight by a new competitor to make out that E3 is unreliable and that KrasAir is the "only choice" on the route for passengers who want to leave on schedule.

Russ is totally pissed off about this incident, and is threatening to take 7B to court to get the latter's licence on the DME-KJA route revoked for anti-competitive behaviour. Maybe court action would not be needed due to E3 operating from the airport which is in turned owned by E3's "owners"; East Line (P7), and they could simply revoke the licences for 7B (although I guess 7B would then threaten legal action also).

Before any court action is taken, Russ will be meeting with the chief of 7B, Boris Abramovich, to try and reach a resolution to the anti-competitive behaviour by 7B at KJA, but knowing what the stunts KrasAir have pulled in the past, and still seem to be doing, I feel that court action might be the only way this will be resolved.

Why has 7B done this? It is simple. They want to protect their monopoly. KJA-DME is the cashcow route for the airline, and they currently charge some 6,000 Rb. (approx US$190) for a one-way ticket. For the first week of operations, E3 is offering a special one-way fare of 3,120 Rb. (approx US$100), which will later rise to between 4,000-4,500 Rb. (US$125-$140). Still some 1,500 Rb. (US$50) below the tariffs charged by 7B.

This type of anti-competitive behaviour by 7B is despicable. Whilst I can understand them not wanting to give up their cashcow route to other airlines (with SU soon to join E3, but from SVO), they should have a suitable business plan in place to allow for competition on flights. I am not aware of any other major airport in Russia, in which the owners of that airport restrict access to competition. KrasAir will soon be getting a number of MD-80s (from Germania), so they had better get their act together before then, because they won't be cheap to lease and operate.

And who said the airline industry in Russia was without scandal which makes the airlines in other countries elligible for some type of "Mother Teresa" award?  Smile

Scotty
Aviatsiya
 
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RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:00 am

8X used to be friends with 9S who liked to mess around with 4R - but wanted a threesome with 8Y until his mother 1Q said it would not be a nice thing to do.  Big thumbs up

just playin scotty - thanks for the update, hope that anti-competitive behavior over there comes under control

Best,
TNNH
 
aviasian
Posts: 1244
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 8:11 am

RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:46 am

Hi Scotty,

thanks for the info . . . what a drama! This situation seems to have a parallel in Cambodia some years back when the government revoked the flag carrier status of (was it Cambodia Airlines or Kampuchea Airlines) and instead created Royal Air Cambodge (which has since gone bankrupt).

The Bangkok Airport time table shows a Domodedovo Airlines IL96 flight coming in from Moscow . . . do you have any info on the reliability of this?

KC Sim
Bangkok
 
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RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 3:18 pm

Aviasian

E3 flies charters to Thailand, but the info that I have is that they fly to UTP, not BKK. From what I understand their charter programme is quite reliable, but as you have info that says they fly into BKK they may have a one-off series of charters there. As you probably know Pattaya is a huge market for Russian tourists, and also Russian bank robbers  Wink/being sarcastic This explains why UTP is the preferred port of entry.

You might like to email E3 on white@dal.sirena3.ru and check with them as to the schedules for BKK/UTP flights. Attention your email to Petr Khudolei - Press Secretary (I think he understands English).

 
aviasian
Posts: 1244
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 8:11 am

RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 4:17 pm

Hi Scotty,

you are probably right about it going directly to UTP. Pattaya is indeed become a Russian town . . . they have not stopped at bank robbers, there was a murder there involving Russians (both murderer and victim).

Aeroflot has been having a horrendous series of delays over the the last weeks, and on 10 Nov, the IL96 was even substituted by an IL86 (what a joy for me). Wonder what's causing this.

KC Sim
Bangkok

 
Amir
Posts: 1224
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 8:56 pm

RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Wed Nov 20, 2002 4:18 pm

Hi Scotyy! thanks for the update! i also got your other email regarding the RB timetables, sorry for not replying but was away in Myanmar and Thailand (including a flight with Yangon Airways)

Not good news about E3 in KJA! the other question is if a court case in Russia can get you anywhere? What about Z8 in LED? i have heard the the EU majors are having a tough time getting more slots and Z8 is known for renegotiating its Interline agreements to get more cash out or simplay ask for astronomical royalities.

Brgds
Amir
 
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RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:07 am

Amir

the other question is if a court case in Russia can get you anywhere?

Yes, basically it can. But it can depend a lot on how big your company is, and most importantly, what connections the owners of that company have. If E3 were to bring action against 7B in a court in Krasnoyarsk Krai, I could guarantee you that the case would either be thrown out, or would drag out for such a period of time and 7B would still win. But in general, Russian courts are doing what is right.

about Z8 in LED? i have heard the the EU majors are having a tough time getting more slots and Z8 is known for renegotiating its Interline agreements to get more cash out or simplay ask for astronomical royalities.

I am not aware of this Amir. I will make some enquiries and see what I can find out. Also, Z8 is now FV (old Viva Air code).

---

Personal message. I heard from Abboud in Damascus, and he tells me that RB is now using the Yak-40s in the cargo role. Even though these aircraft are listed in the Amadeus CRS as operating flights from Damascus-Kameshli and others. You got any info on that? (Answer on email if you like).

Cheers

Scotty
Aviatsiya
 
Amir
Posts: 1224
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 8:56 pm

RE: Domodedovo Airlines Il-96 Flight Sabotaged!

Thu Nov 21, 2002 3:43 pm

Hi Scotty,

many thanks for the info. Hope E3 can get whatever sort of compensation!

Re RB. No this info about the YAK-40 is new to me. Basically they are only used for the government/military or the president when he often travels between DAM and Kurdaha (his native town close to Lattakia). Only in few cases where no other equipment is available, they might deploy it for scheduled flights.

I will be flying to DAM on Sunday, i will try to find out more.
Brgds
Amir
 
Guest

Abramovich Responds

Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:22 pm

Boris Abramovich, the chief of 7B has responded to the claims by E3's Russ, and he has basically said that E3 deserved what happened to them because E3 "refused to co-operate with" 7B.

I would expect nothing less from Krasnoyarsk, a city where the 2 major airlines which are based there are run by brothers, and they have tried to create an environment in which other airlines can not compete....at least until E3 came onto the scene.

Court action it sounds like.

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