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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

KrasAir, EBRD to Cooperate on Low-Cost Airline

KrasAir co-owner Boris Abramovich is to create a low-cost carrier called Sky Express with the help of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Sky Express will make its first flight in November or December from Vnukovo Airport and will operate 18 leased Boeing 737-300s and 737-500s next year, Vedomosti said Tuesday.

The EBRD will discuss on Oct. 17 a $20 million loan for Sky Express out of $48 million required for its startup, the bank said in a statement.

Tickets are expected to cost 30 to 40 percent less than at other airlines.

The first three planes are to arrive this fall. The jets are to operate domestic flights.

Other participants in the project include hedge fund Altima Partners, finance holding MG Capital and British financial group Sloane Robinson, Vedomosti said.

SkyExpress is the second low-cost airline project in Russia. National Reserve Corporation, which is owned by billionaire Alexander Lebedev, announced plans in February to set up a low-cost airline. Few details of the project have been disclosed.

 A KrasAir Tu-154 airliner with 129 passengers and crew members aboard made an emergency landing Tuesday at the Krasnoyarsk airport after one of its engines malfunctioned, Interfax reported.

The plane on a Krasnoyarsk-St. Petersburg flight had to circle several times over the airport to burn off fuel before it landed at 2:43 p.m. Moscow time.

(Bloomberg, MT)