Aeroflot is preparing to join one of the world's three largest aviation alliances, said Aeroflot Deputy Director Lev Koshlyakov in a press conference yesterday. He said at present 75% of the world aviation market is controlled by three global alliances - SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld. Aeroflot controls just 1% of the market. In order to improve its competitiveness and lower costs, Russia's largest carrier is planning to join of the three world leaders. Last fall, Aeroflot management indicated that it wanted to join SkyTeam but no decision has yet been made.
Aeroflot-Russian Airlines was registered in 1994. Its primary shareholder, the Russian government, has a 51%-stake in the company and the remaining 49% of shares belong to the company's employees. Aeroflot is the largest Russian carrier. It flies to 88 cities in 42 countries as well as 26 cities in Russia. In 2003 the company transported 5.8 million passengers.