According to an amendment to a Presidential Decree, Russian officials and Duma deputies will be limited in airline selection for international business trips. For official travel Russian officials may only use airlines of other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The rule does not apply to private trips.
Vitaly Savelyev, chairman and CEO of Aeroflot, wanted this change as early as February. These restrictions are common in other countries (rules for US officials) and help to support Russian airlines, which are under pressure from falling demand during an economic crisis and an increase in rental costs due to a weaker ruble.
According to data of the Federal Air Transport of Russia, in the first half of the year, the number of passengers who flew to international destinations with Russian airlines fell by 15.2%.