Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Belavia bars Russian lowcoster from entering Belarusian market

Belsat

Russias lowcoster Pobeda is set to serve flights from Minsk to Moscow on a regular basis, but the Belarusian national aviation company is standing firm against it.

On January 28, Pobeda CEO Andrey Kalmykov asked Russias Transport Minister for assistance in resolving tariff disputes with Belavia. To work in Belarus, the company should be accredited by the countrys Aviation Department; one of the conditions being the adjustment of tariffs with Belavia.

In early December, the Belarusian national airline refused to agree on proposed tariffs. Belavia apprehends a cut in tariffs on the route Moscow-Minsk and destabilization of the current competitive situation, said Kalmykov.

In response, the Russian transport Ministry is now preparing a package of measures.

A source close to Pobeda says that the tariffs offered by the lowcoster were about 30% lower in comparing to those of other companies.

There has been no final decision on the issue yet, Belarus Aviation Department said.

The negotiations will be difficult. Perhaps, they will not have a deal on Pobedas entering [the Belarusian market] because flights to Moscow are very profitable, and a discounter with even a small number of flights will affect prices. On the other hand, Minsk is becoming a transit point for banned flights from Russia to Ukraine, Turkey or Egypt. And if Belavia is interested in increasing the frequency of its flights, it will have to negotiate, says Fyodor Borisov of the Russian Higher School of Economics.