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Avianova, Death Of A Russian Low-Cost Airline

With fares as low as 250 rubles, Avianova made a splash when it entered the competitive Russian market two years ago. But plagued from the start by delays and cancellations, the low-cost carrier will be grounding its fleet for good on October 9.

Avianova, Death Of A Russian Low-Cost Airline

Worldcrunch NEWSBITES*

MOSCOW - Avianova, a Russian low-cost airline that began operations in 2009 and has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy has announced that it will discontinue all flights as of October 9. The company, which was the second low-cost airline to enter the Russian market in 2009, was a joint venture between a Russian investment company, A1, which controls 51% of the stock, and an American company, Indigo Partners, with 49%.

Avianova threatened to stop all service on Monday night due to high debts owed to its service partners, but agreed to extend service for a week after negotiations with Russian aviation authorities. According to the majority stockholder, extending service for an additional week will cost two million dollars, and compensation for those who had booked tickets for flights after October 9, around 63,000 tickets, will cost an additional five million dollars.

Passengers were advised to turn in their tickets for flights after October 9, through the company's website. At the ticket counters at Avianova's two hubs, Moscow Sheremetyevo and Krasnodar, there was no further information available. On Monday, however, the company's planes arrived at Sheremetyevo with an average delay of 3 to 4 hours, and one morning flight was cancelled. In fact, flight delays are one of the issues that have plagued the company from the beginning.

An independent consultant, Boris Ribak, noted that Avianova was a risky venture from the start, and particularly questioned their choice of Andrew Pain to lead the company, since he had already led a low-cost airline, Air Macau, backed by the same two investors, that wound up going bankrupt as well.

Read the full article by Yekaterina Sobol in Russian

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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