The Federal Aviation Agency has given Transaero permission to fly several flights from Moscow to Italy after a threat of legal action by the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.
In a move that is bound to bring relief to dozens of New Year's holiday-makers, the agency said in a statement Wednesday that it would allow the flights to go ahead because "passengers bought packages to Rome and Milan … without knowing that the airline has no right to fly to these cities," RIA-Novosti reported.
Transaero had sold tickets on a series of charter flights from Moscow to Rome and Milan between Dec. 28 and Jan. 14. Rival airline Aeroflot complained to the Federal Aviation Agency that Transaero had no license to operate the routes.
Aeroflot, which is the designated Russian carrier to Italy under an intergovernmental agreement, and has repeatedly said Transaero is ineligible to fly the route.
Initially the agency waived restrictions for several airlines flying to Milan, Rome and Vienna, allowing them to fly a limited number of flights on the routes.
But on Nov. 10, it withdrew the waiver, drawing the ire of the antitrust service, which announced that it would take the case to court on Monday.
The service said the Federal Aviation Agency's policy "materially prejudices the rights of passengers, denying them the right to a choice of carriers."