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Airlines Demand Less Transit Luggage Scrutiny

Two of Russia’s largest airlines have demanded an end to compulsory checks on baggage passing though Moscow’s airports.

Aeroflot and UTair have called for the Transportation Ministry to cancel a 2007 decree that requires all baggage transiting through Moscow airports to go through security checks.

In a letter to the Russian Air Transportation Association, UTair president Oleg Semyonov complained that the security checks contribute to unusually high rates of lost and delayed luggage at Moscow’s airports.

“Because of overcrowding in Moscow airspace, aircraft can be stuck in the waiting zone for 30 to 40 minutes,” he complained in the letter, Vedomosti reported.

Such delays already make many passengers late for connecting flights. The compulsory check of every bag passing through the airport means airlines also struggle to get transiting suitcases onto continuing flights, Semyonov said.

State-owned Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, said it too had suggested that the government cancel the decree.

Moscow’s three airports, which act as connecting hubs for both domestic and international flights, are the busiest in the country.

Air traffic has grown to such a degree that both Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo are considering construction of third runways in a bid to increase capacity.

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