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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Airports Intensify Race to Upgrade

A planned $220 million bond by East Line will help fund expansion of Domodedovo Airport, used by British Airways, and turn up competition on rival Sheremetyevo Airport, Vedomosti said Tuesday.

British Airways switched its flights from Sheremetyevo-2, Russia's main international airport, to the newly modernized Domodedovo earlier this year.

Domodedovo is further from the city center than Sheremetyevo but enjoys a direct rail link to the capital, unlike its more established rival.

Alitalia and Lufthansa have also said they are considering using Domodedovo as an alternative to Sheremetyevo.

Vedomosti quoted an East Line spokeswoman as saying that Domodedovo, which receives domestic flights, too, was hoping to handle up to 12.7 million passengers next year.

A source at Sheremetyevo was quoted as saying that the airport would handle around 11.3 million passengers next year. "Twelve million is probably the maximum in current conditions, until Sheremetyevo-2 is reconstructed and a third terminal is built," the source said.

Modernization of Sheremetyevo is being held up until the authorities award a management contract to run the airport to a private company.

Another source, close to Sheremetyevo management, was quoted as saying that East Line might be concerned about stiffer competition from Sheremetyevo once private management is brought in.