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Compensation by Aeroflot Not Agreed

Litvintsev is asking Aeroflot to pay $142 for each hour passengers waited. Denis Grishkin

Almost three months after a transportation collapse at Sheremetyevo Airport, Aeroflot is still sorting out relations with disgruntled fliers.

Aeroflot delayed almost 200 flights by more than eight hours between Dec. 26 and 28 because of a shortage of de-icing fluid.

Many passengers spent more than a day waiting for their flights to take off. Aeroflot offered compensation of either 25 rubles (88 cents) per hour of waiting time or a voucher for the amount of the fare from Moscow to the passenger's destination point, not including fees.

Aeroflot expected to give out 20,000 vouchers, but it has only dispensed a quarter of that number so far.

Almost 2,000 people do not have boarding passes, without which the airline won't give out a voucher.

Almost 1,500 people want moral compensation from the airline in addition to a refund for their material losses. Lawyer Sergei Zhorin of the Moscow Bar Association is representing almost 500 of those claimants, and lawyer Sergei Litvintsev is handling the others.

Last month, Zhorin filed 50 claims in court that were worth of total of 10 million rubles ($352,000). Litvintsev made all of his claims directly to Aeroflot to give the airline the opportunity to settle the claims out of court.

Meetings between the lawyers and Aeroflot managers have been going on for two weeks now, according to the company.

"Our talks with Aeroflot are coming to nothing. The company has made no proposals to us," Interfax quoted Litvintsev as saying Wednesday. He added that Aeroflot refuses to pay moral compensation. Litvintsev has been insisting that his clients receive 4,000 rubles per hour for delays. He said the matter could still wind up in court.

Zhorin, on the other hand, is pleased with the meetings. He said there was a high likelihood that a compromise would be reached and that all suits would be withdrawn as soon as that happened. He declined to comment on Litvintsev's statements.

Aeroflot on Wednesday completed the sale to Norilsk Nickel of its subsidiary airline Nordavia for $7 million, an Aeroflot source told Interfax. Nordavia had been appraised at $207 million. "But of that amount Aeroflot will receive just $7 million, as the rest is the airline's debts," the source said. Aeroflot began negotiating the sale of 100 percent of Nordavia's stock with Norilsk Nickel last December.
Aeroflot flew 870,600 passengers in February, a 20.2 percent increase on the 724,000 people it flew in February 2010. Passenger turnover this past February increased 21.2 percent year on year to 2.7 billion passengers per kilometer. The seat-occupancy rate was 74.4 percent in February this year, up 1.6 percent from last February, and the commercial-load rate was 60.3 percent, up 1 percent.

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