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Budget Airline’s Check-in Fees Are Illegal, Russian Prosecutors Say

Pauls 88 / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Prosecutors have descended on Russia’s fourth-largest airline Pobeda with accusations that it illegally charges check-in fees at foreign airports.

Pobeda, a low-cost subsidiary of Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot, introduced check-in fees of 25 euros in foreign airports last fall. Moscow’s transport prosecutors later challenged the new fees in court.

The fees “directly contradict the provisions of the law,” Alexander Kurennoy, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General’s Office, told the RBC news website Thursday.

Kurennoy cited 2007 aviation rules prohibiting additional fees for services including check-in fees.

Pobeda has come under increased scrutiny from the authorities in recent months.

On Thursday, a Pobeda spokesman told RBC that almost all of the airline’s international flights departing from St. Petersburg had been delayed this week due to onerous inspections by Pulkovo Airport officials. The outlet reported, citing unnamed sources, that the airline could suspend all of its international flights this spring.

A Moscow court also ruled on Thursday to uphold a small administrative fine on Pobeda for resisting a transport watchdog inspection.

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