The Russian government has allocated 23.4 billion rubles (about $329 million at the current exchange rate) to compensate for air carriers’ losses entailed as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the government’s website, TASS reports.
“Domestic air carriers will receive 23.4 billion rubles in compensation for losses entailed as a result of the novel coronavirus infection outbreak. This decree has been approved by the government,” the government has said in an official statement.
The measures were taken upon instructions from President Vladimir Putin.
“The subsidies can be spent on wages for air industry personnel (no less than 60% from the overall amount of the installment), leasing payments (not more than 30% from the overall amount), payments for aircraft parking (not more than 10% of the overall amount), as well as operating activities and property maintenance,” the government said.
In order to obtain a subsidy, an air carrier should file a request to Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency and submit a package of necessary documents.
“The final decision is made within 20 working days after receiving the request,” the government’s press service said.
Air transport was among the hardest-hit economic sectors, affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Russia fully halted regular and charter international flights since March 27 and airlines can only perform flights to deliver cargo and mail, as well as flights for sanitary and humanitarian purposes. Some air carriers currently use their fleet for delivery of medical items.
According to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, Russian air carriers transported some 771,200 passengers in April, down 91.8% year-on-year.