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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EBRD Buys a Stake in Sky Express

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development bought 20 percent of Sky Express, the country's first budget airline, to help boost competition as the economy enters a ninth year of growth.

The EBRD will pay $10 million for the holding, a sum that will double "in several stages," the bank said in a statement Tuesday.

Alexander Lebedev and Mikhail Fridman are among businessmen who have said they plan to or are considering establishing a low-cost carrier. Domestic airlines flew 14.8 million passengers in the first half of 2006, 9.2 percent more than in the same period last year.

"The launch of this low-cost airline, whose prices will compete with those for train journeys in [Russia], is vital for stimulating competition in the Russian air-transport sector,'' said Riccardo Puliti, head of transportation investment at EBRD.