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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vnukovo Seeking to Lure Lufthansa

Itar-TassVnukovo, which is currently undergoing modernization, believes servicing Lufthansa may be worth up to $30 million.
Vnukovo Airport is looking to lure German airline Lufthansa away from its current Moscow base at Sheremetyevo in a deal that could be worth around $30 million per year, a spokesman for the airport said Wednesday.

Lufthansa's contract with Sheremetyevo expires in early 2008. The carrier flies around 60 flights per week to Moscow.

"Of course, we are interested in working with Lufthansa. We are interested in working with all major airlines, and Lufthansa is the biggest carrier to Russia," Vnukovo spokesman Konstantin Konanykhin said Wednesday.

Vnukovo already services a Lufthansa subsidiary, budget airline German Wings, Konanykhin said.

Vnukovo, the country's third-largest airport, is currently undergoing a process of development and modernization, with a new terminal slated to open in early 2008.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman said Wednesday that although the airline was satisfied with its cooperation with Sheremetyevo, it was open to new suggestions.

"We have been working with Sheremetyevo for a long time and are happy with our partnership," said Olga Lugovina, a spokeswoman for Lufthansa.

"We are considering all possibilities," she said.

Oleg Panteleyev, head of analysis at industry experts Aviaport, said there were considerable benefits about moving to Vnukovo, as well as downsides.

Rail and road links with the airport make it the most easily reached from central Moscow, Panteleyev said.

"Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo are overloaded. They are working to the limits of their capacity," Konanykhin said.

But Panteleyev noted that Vnukovo currently services the president and receives all visiting heads of state, meaning that flight schedules are subject to disruption.

"During the 60th anniversary of Victory Day, when all those foreign heads of state visited Moscow, the airport had to be closed down for two days," Panteleyev said.