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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 22:34 GMT
Aeroflot eyes Sky Team membership
Aeroflot plane
Will the international group let Aeroflot join?
Russia's national carrier Aeroflot has asked to join the international airline consortium Sky Team.

The consortium - led by Air France and Delta Air Lines of the US - is one of the large aviation alliances expected to dominate the market in future.

Sky Team has welcomed Aeroflot's application to join, but says there are several hurdles to be overcome first.

The news comes as Aeroflot lost a bid to take control of its main base, Moscow's run-down Sheremetyevo Airport.

New image

Now the firm has indicated it may consider moving to one of Moscow's other airports.

Other international carriers like British Airways and Swiss, the former Swissair, have already abandoned Sheremetyevo for the newer, privately owned Domodedovo.

Russia's old state controlled airline has transformed itself into an international airline with a fleet of Boeings and Airbuses and a share listing on the Moscow stock exchange.

Sky Team did say that the airline has yet to meet its quality standards, but did add Aeroflot's extensive hub network makes it an excellent candidate for membership.

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