Transaero Airlines 777-200. By Rob Finlayson

Transaero Airlines (UN) has accused Rosaviatsia—Russia’s Dept. of Aviation/Ministry of Transport—of restricting competition and supporting a monopoly after it said the regulator withdrew permission for the carrier to operate charter flights from Moscow to Rome, Milan and Venice in the winter season.

The carrier claimed the aviation authorities withdrew permission under pressure from Aeroflot (SU), which is a designated carrier on Russia to Italy routes. UN had already begun selling tickets for these flights.

The carrier has appealed the decision to the Transportation Ministry.

However, Rosaviatsia said in a statement that it did not give UN permission to fly from Moscow to the Italian cities. According to Russian legislation, a Rosaviatsia special commission grants approval for charter flights. UN said that, at the end of October, the commission granted a license for the flights. Rosaviatsia head Alexander Neradko signed the official report and published it on the website in November.

UN deputy CEO Dmitry Stolyarov told ATW that, according to law, Rosaviatsia has three days following publication to notify the carrier but failed to do so, which is the reason the regulator said it did not grant UN official permission.

SU and Alitalia (AZ), both SkyTeam members, operate scheduled flights between Moscow and Rome, Milan and Venice. Charter carriers are allowed to fly to Venice but do not have permission to fly to Rome and Milan. Two more carriers—S7 Airlines and Italian WindJet—fly between Moscow and Bergamo (BGY) route, flying to BGY, which is 40 km. from Milan.