Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Interior Ministry General Viktor Kiryanov, head of traffic police, to the new post of head of transport security (Reuters/Shanghai Daily, 31-Jan-2011). Mr Medvedev commented: “I believe that within the Interior Ministry we need to optimise work on transport security ... Therefore I decided to create another deputy interior minister position." Mr Medvedev fired several transport police officers but maintained top officials in their positions after the 24-Jan-2011 bombing at Moscow Domodedovo International Airport.
Russia appoints new head of transport security
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Aeroflot 6th freedom Part 1: long haul growth emphasises Europe-Asia connections
The Western Europe-North East Asia corridor has gained attention as the centrepiece of Finnair's expansion strategy. But just over 500 miles away in Moscow Aeroflot is quietly pursuing a role carrying transfer traffic between the regions. Although Aeroflot's spread of Asian destinations is not as extensive as Finnair's or those of the Gulf airlines, Aeroflot has favourable geography and lower costs. It is not subject to Russian overflight rights and associated costs. Finnair carries the tenth largest number of O&D passengers between Western Europe and Northeast Asia, while Aeroflot is 13th. After Emirates, Aeroflot is the second largest airline transporting passengers between the regions, but is based in neither.
A member of SkyTeam, Aeroflot is not part of the joint ventures (trans-Atlantic and Europe-Asia) that define the alliance's inner circle. Its long haul transfer strategy is focused on Western Europe-Asia. This strategy allows it some independence from SkyTeam but may also aggravate the alliance's established members, much the way that Turkish has irked Lufthansa and United. Aeroflot's connecting traffic, although still an overall small proportion of its international traffic, has grown faster than local traffic.
CityJet: regional airline consolidator is re-energised & refocussed after second change of ownership
It is just over six months since CityJet chairman, Pat Byrne, and a group of private investors bought the airline from previous owner Intro Aviation. Meanwhile, CityJet has received its first two Sukhoi Superjets this summer. With 13 more scheduled for delivery by 2018 they will be replacements for its ageing BAE146 fleet at London City Airport, but the Superjet first needs steep approach certification. This will be important in restoring profitability to CityJet's refocused core network at London City.
In addition, CityJet has a growing presence in contract flying for other airlines. It inherited an Air France wet-lease operation at Paris CDG from its days under Air France-KLM ownership and acquired an SAS regional operator a year ago. Recent reports of possible consolidation involving CityJet in the European regional contract flying space demonstrate that it now has a higher profile and greater credibility than at any time for many years.
Although unconfirmed, these reports link CityJet with another SAS regional operator, Cimber, and with Stobart Air, which operates wet-lease capacity for Aer Lingus and Flybe. Even if they do not come to fruition, reports of such transactions are a sign of CityJet's increased status and revitalisation after years of near invisibility as part of Air France-KLM.