. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$300M Threat to Aeroflot

Flag carrier Aeroflot stands to lose the $300 million a year it currently receives in fees charged to foreign airlines using Russian airspace, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

The paper said officials from the Transport Ministry planned initially to distribute receipts from the overflight fees among all Russian airlines operating in Siberia, and then to abolish it completely by 2015.

Aeroflot was not immediately able to comment on the report, which gave no immediate time frame.

Aeroflot is at present the only airline to receive the fees, a legacy of its former role as the monopoly Soviet carrier.

The overflight fee, which was introduced in 1970 and applies to non-stop flights between Europe and East Asia over Russian territory, has proved a stumbling block in talks with the European Union over entry to the World Trade Organization.

Russia is hoping to wind up WTO accession talks, which are currently deadlocked, next year.

Aeroflot made $89.3 million in net profit last year based on international accounting standards on revenues of $1.6 billion.

"Naturally we understood that sooner or later this would happen," Aeroflot deputy CEO Lev Koshlyakov was quoted as saying. "As long as this does not happen tomorrow, we plan soon to restructure our financial resources to do without the receipts [overflight fees]."