Aeroflot – Russian Airlines celebrated its 90th anniversary on March 17th 2013. The company was founded on March 17th 1923 when the joint-stock company Dobrolet (Russian association of voluntary air fleet), the business company responsible for development of the country’s civil aviation on behalf of national economy, was established. Thus the history of modern Aeroflot began on that day.
After the foundation of Dobrolet the development of domestic air lines was started in Russia. The first regular domestic air line Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod was opened on July 15th 1923. The Association of friends of the air fleet headquartered in Moscow was established in 1923. The association was responsible not only for promotion of the new transport, but also raising of funds for construction of aircraft and airfields.
The General Directorate of Civil Air Fleet and the official short name of the country’s civil aviation – Aeroflot, were established on February 25th 1932. By the end of 1930s Aeroflot became the world’s largest airline.
The General department of international air services of Aeroflot was established in January 1971 on the basis of Transport department of international air lines. It was the only enterprise of the industry to perform international flights under the brand Aeroflot – Soviet Airlines.
The transport Il-76 aircraft performed its first international flight in 1978. These aircraft are still used for delivering cargo all over the world. Aeroflot was appointed the general carrier of the participants of XXII Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Aeroflot was transporting passengers to every continent in 1980s and its passenger traffic reached 120 million passengers per year. This achievement was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and it is still unmatched.
Aeroflot became the member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 1989.
In accordance with the government decree “On measures for development of international air transport in Russia” the JSC Aeroflot – Russian International Airlines (Aeroflot – Russian Airlines since 2000) was established on July 28th 1992.
Aeroflot was registered as the open joint-stock company in 1994 keeping its trademark, which is one of the most famous brands in the world. The first meeting of shareholders of Aeroflot was held on June 28th 1996.
Aeroflot’s website was put into service on December 10th 1999. The company is becoming integrated into the global market of air transportation. Aeroflot became the member of SkyTeam alliance on April 14th 2006. The airline received the IOSA certificate from IATA on May 6th 2006. Aeroflot was the first Russian airline to pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
At present Aeroflot is the Russia’s leading airline by the passenger traffic. The carrier transported over 17,7 million passengers in 2012 (+24.6% as compared to 2011). 2012/2013 winter schedule of Aeroflot comprises regular flights to 118 airports of 51 countries (including 31 Russian airports). The carrier has three branches: in St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Vladivostok.
Aeroflot has the largest in Europe operation control center. The company opened its own flight school in 2011, which is able to train 160 pilots (80 crews) per year. The school also provides education on 120 aviation specialties. The airline has established a high-tech Situation Center, which allows controlling the airline’s activities in case of any crisis situation.
At present company has about 16 thousand employees, 1800 of which are accounted for flying personnel. According to WCIOM the company is among 10 Russia’s most attractive employers.
The carrier has one of the youngest fleets in Europe. Aeroflot owns 130 liners; mostly А320, А330 and SSJ-100. Aeroflot signed large contracts on delivery of 22 Boeing B787 Dreamliner long-haul aircraft in 2007 (the deliveries should be started in 2016) and on delivery of 22 Airbus A350s (deliveries will be started in 2018). Aeroflot has been taking deliveries of A330 long-haul aircraft since late 2008. The aircraft expand the carrier’s long-haul capabilities and improve the service quality. The contract on delivery of 16 Boeing 777 jets was signed in 2011 (the deliveries were started in 2013). Aeroflot has also been taking deliveries of Sukhoi SuperJet-100 since June 2011 (in the network of firm contract on delivery of 30 SSJ-100s). Aeroflot Group plans to acquire a total of 126 advanced aircraft during a period until 2020.
Aeroflot is cooperating with 30 foreign and Russian airlines in the network of code-share agreements. Aeroflot Group comprises a number of subsidiaries: besides Rostov-on-Don-based Donavia, a number of carriers previously owned by Russian Technologies State Corporation, have joined the Group.
Aeroflot places its stake on IT-technologies in terms of improving the service quality and economic efficiency. It is also implementing internet services: offers on-line booking, on-line check-in, access to the Internet and mobile services on-board the aircraft. Aeroflot intends to equip 22 A330s and 4 Boeing-777s with a system providing in-flight Wi-Fi internet access in 2013. This program is in line with the carrier’s development strategy, which assumes implementation of advanced technologies and solutions in all the airline’s areas of activity. The carrier also intends to join the world's leading airlines in terms of service quality.
Aeroflot meets all the international safety standards. Following the results of IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) Aeroflot was the first Russian carrier to enter the registry of IOSA operators. The airline confirmed this certificate in 2011 for the fourth straight time. Aeroflot passed the ISAGO audit (IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations) in 2009. The carrier confirmed the conformity of its quality management system to the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 standards in 2010.
The carrier’s founder – government of RF, owns 51% of Aeroflot’s shares. The rest 49% are owned by entities and persons including the airline’s employees. Vitaly Savelyev was appointed CEO of Aeroflot on April 10th 2009. The shares of Aeroflot – Russian Airlines are being traded at MICEX (designation AFLT). Following the results of 9 months of 2012 the net profit of Aeroflot Group was $296, 2 million (in accordance with IFRS). The company’s revenues were over $6 billion (+54%).
According to Skyscanner, Aeroflot is one of the Europe’s five best airlines by the quality of in-flight meals. The carrier is in the top-10 of the best transport and tourist airlines of the world rating made by The Boston Consulting Group. The carrier was awarded with 70 different awards during a period from 2010 to 2013. Among them is Readers’ Choice Award of Condе Nast Traveller as the best Russian airline. Aeroflot was chosen as the general partner of Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The airline is also the official partner and carrier of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan. Aeroflot is also the title sponsor of PFC CSKA.