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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Transaero Operating Profits Soar 435%

Russia's largest private airline Transaero continued to post impressive growth in 1997, ending the year with a 435 percent jump in operating profits compared to the previous year.

But the airline still ended the year with a net loss of $18 million.

Last year "was a year of restructuring and stabilization," said Alexander Pleshakov, chairman of Transaero. "In 1998, the accent will be on expanding our presence within Russia."

Last September, executives said they expected surging passenger volumes and innovative service to lead the carrier to profitability for the first time in its six years of existence. But Pleshakov said Friday improper use of the airline's DC-10 aircraft led to the loss in profits.

Transaero carried more than 1.6 million passengers in 1997, 140,000 more than in 1996. The airline also registered a 40 percent increase in freight transfers.

In 1998, the airline plans to inaugurate flights to Samara, Volgograd, Tyumen and Surgut, and increase flights on other domestic routes.