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Major Russian lowcoster back in the skies after coronavirus grounding

Major Russian lowcoster back in the skies after coronavirus grounding
The Pobeda low-cost airline, a subsidiary of Russia's largest carrier Aeroflot, will resume flights after a two-month interruption as Russia slowly eases restrictions intended to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The company earlier said that it will start carrying passengers on June 1, but according to flight information from Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, where the carrier's fleet is based, three flights were scheduled for takeoff on Sunday. They are bound for the southern city of Makhachkala, Volgograd and St. Petersburg.

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Starting on Monday, Pobeda will open other destinations, with over a dozen flights to different Russian cities scheduled. However, international flights won't be resumed yet. The company started selling tickets in mid-May, promising big discounts. 

The low-cost carrier had to halt operations on April 1 as the Russian government imposed coronavirus-related restrictions, affecting the travel and aviation sector. Russia banned flights from abroad at the end of March, excluding those repatriating its own citizens.

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As passenger flows decreased over 90 percent, crippling air carriers' finances, the Russian government has pledged to support them. For this purpose, it recently allocated 23.4 billion rubles ($316 million). Three Aeroflot subsidiaries have already received financial help, while requests from other carriers are currently under consideration.

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