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Aeroflot Considers Leaving SkyTeam Alliance

State-controlled airline Aeroflot sees no benefits from its membership in the SkyTeam alliance, but a decision to leave the group is not for management to take, a source close to its board said.

Aeroflot is considering leaving the SkyTeam alliance because of unfavorable agreements with other members, in particular U.S. Delta Air Lines Inc., Kommersant reported Friday.

"There is no point in cooperating with them," a source close to the board said. He doubted, however, that Aeroflot would drop out of the alliance unless there was a political decision to do so.

The agreement to join SkyTeam in 2004 was signed in the Kremlin, a political stamp of approval largely due to close ties with France. Air France-KLM is a leading member of the group.

The newspaper cited sources close to Aeroflot's board of directors as saying the company was not happy with the development of its routes in the United States, where Delta Air Lines charges relatively high fares.

Dropping out of the alliance could cost Aeroflot $20 million, and the airline may consider joining Star Alliance, the biggest airline marketing group, with 27 members.

As a member of SkyTeam, which brings together 19 global airlines, Aeroflot cannot undercut prices offered by other members and could become more competitive by joining the Star Alliance, Kommersant said.

Aeroflot declined to comment on the report.

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