|Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 3):|
During the Soviet Union, Aeroflot was by far the largest airline on the planet.
With you good and right explanation of the situation with Russian airlines, let me to correct you a bit.
If to be strictly correct Aeroflot was never existed as a company. Name 'Aeroflot' was used as the collective name of aviation enterprises of the Ministry for Civil Aviation all over the USSR
. As the company Aeroflot operated just on international routes. And you correct - most of Russia's oblast's, lands and republics had own avition enterprise, some times two, three or even more at any subject of federation. It was called OAO or if to translate it - United Aviation Squad (sounds a bit military but like it was at soviet times). United because of the enterprise was united with local airport. For example the Domodedovo based enterprise was OAO as like as the smallest group of An-2 with grass covered field could be OAO as well. And at the beginning of 90s I worked at 2nd LOAO LUGA (2nd Leningrad UAS of Leningrad Department of Civil Aviation) - Rzhevka (ULSS/RVH
) based enerprise, 2nd after Pulkovo at Saint-Petersburg.
After the USSR
collapsed each enetrprise became the separated company, some were privatised, some not and continued activity as joint with airport companies. Name Aeroflot was given to OAO based at Sheremetievo, but airport was excludet from it. As far as most of international agreements were signed on behalf of Aeroflot at 90s absolute majority of international flights were operated under SU
code even if it was FGUAP Pulkovo or any other carriers. Such enterprises were needed to pay to Aeroflot for permission to fly abroad under SU
title. After the new agreemnts with other countries came in power situation had changed to more market one.
Indeed such system could not survived for a long time. Having as you said just 2-3 Tu-134 companise were not able to develop business and dead. Many cities and towns lost not only the local carriers but also airports were closed (as like as at Novgord the Great). Started form more than 400 aircompanies at 90s if I'm not mistakig at the moment we have 283 actual aviation companies with less than 20 real market players.
There are still a lot of discussions how it shoud looks like - civil aviation in Russia. Aeroflot and some state officals stays for strict reduce of the number of carriers (SU even proposed to reburn the state monopoly after the number of crashes last year). Some aviation officials stated it sould be 3-4 big national carriers and thats all (with possible exaption for small regional ones engaged to larger operators business). It is indeed under the idea of safety reasons but being at GR
consultancy for the years I have to say it is mostly competetive features indeed. However the number of the carriers will be redced anyway- that is obvious market process. Generally situation at the Russian market have some similarities with US before 1978 but the picture is rether diferent of cause.
Also I have to say that there is also the process of establishing of principaly new airlines - 'from the zero' as we say - like VIM, Vyborg, Sky Express etc. It is very positive process giving us clear vision that market is development and competition is possible.