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Russia's Aeroflot can receive $107 million in COVID-19 state aid - document

By Gleb Stolyarov
    MOSCOW, May 14 (Reuters) - Russia's Aeroflot Group  AFLT.MM 
can receive up to 7.9 billion roubles ($106.8 million) in state
aid as part of a package to support the country's aviation
industry during the pandemic, a government document and Reuters
calculations showed. 
    In the document published late on Wednesday, the government
issued an order to distribute 23.4 billion roubles of state
funds to airlines suffering losses due to the coronavirus
crisis, which has hammered air travel as people have been asked
to stay at home to curb the outbreak.
    Russian airlines' passenger traffic fell almost 92%
year-on-year to 771,200 people in April, federal aviation agency
Rosaviatsiya said on Tuesday. Passenger traffic in March fell by
more than 28%.*:nR4N2BV01B
    Aeroflot Group, which includes Russian flag carrier Aeroflot
as well as Rossiya, Aurora and low-cost airline Pobeda, is 51.2%
state-owned and has a Russian market share of almost 50% based
on 2019 data. 
    According to conditions outlined in the document, though, it
can only claim one third of the grants on offer. Other major
airlines, including S7 Group, UTair  UTAR.MM  and Ural Airlines
will be entitled to the remaining 15 billion roubles. 
    Rosaviatsiya confirmed Reuters' calculations, saying
Aeroflot could receive up to about 8 billion roubles in
government subsidies. 
    Aeroflot did not respond to a request for comment. 
    The government decree mentions a "group of companies" that
can claim no more than 33.7% of the total subsidies. One of the
group's airlines must be at least 50% state-owned, while the
group's passenger traffic in 2019 must have exceeded 20 million
    Only Aeroflot Group meets all these criteria.
    Flag carrier Aeroflot's passenger traffic fell 95.2% in
April, to 147,700 people, while Rossiya's fell 92.2% to 65,700. 
    ($1 = 73.8075 roubles)

 (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow;
Editing by Pravin Char)
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