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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Ticket Prices May Spike in '08

Airline ticket prices could skyrocket next year due to the high cost of aircraft maintenance, the head of the Federal Air Transportation Agency, Yevgeny Bachurin, said Monday.

"The growth in ticket prices next year could reach 20, 30 or even 40 percent, if the problems with the airplane fleets are not resolved," Bachurin said at a news conference, Interfax reported.

The cost of safety upkeep for the aging craft commonly used by domestic carriers is far pricier than for new aircraft, Bachurin said.

He warned that next year's peak-season passenger volume could dip due to the lack of suitable aircraft. Bachurin rejected the idea of letting foreign carriers into the domestic market, however.

Last week, reports surfaced that domestic airline conglomerate AirUnion had put forward proposals to open up Russian airspace to foreign firms.

Bachurin's plan is to reduce the import duties on foreign aircraft and simultaneously boost domestic production. At present, domestic firms are forced to pay a tax of around 20 percent to import foreign-manufactured aircraft.

Despite that, several Russian carriers have recently signed major orders with foreign manufacturers, including S7 and Aeroflot deals with plane makers Airbus and Boeing.

Last week, Alexei Fyodorov, head of the state-run United Aircraft Corporation, announced targets to increase civilian aircraft production in Russia by 27 times by 2025.