MOSCOW, Aug. 29, 2018 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of PJSC Aeroflot has re-elected Vitaly Saveliev as CEO for a term of five years. The appointment was approved on 28 August 2018 at a meeting of the Board of Directors chaired by Mikhail Poluboyarinov, pursuant to a Directive from the Russian government.
Vitaly Saveliev has led Aeroflot since his appointment on 10 April 2009. At that time, the Company was considered a regional carrier by global standards with passenger traffic of 8.6 million (11.1 million including subsidiaries). Aeroflot together with its subsidiaries ranked 68th internationally.
In 2010 President Vladimir Putin tasked Vitaly Saveliev with creating Russia's first full-fledged airline group. The state transferred a number of regional carriers to Aeroflot's management, and from these assets the construction of Aeroflot Group began. Following the transformation the Group included Russia's second biggest airline Rossiya Airlines (created from St. Petersburg-based regional airline Rossiya, as well as Donavia and Orenburg Airlines) and Far Eastern airline Aurora (created out of SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia).
The creation of Russia's first-ever genuine low-cost carrier, Pobeda, as part of Aeroflot Group represented a genuine breakthrough. Thanks to Vitaly Saveliev, important amendments to Russia's Aviation Code were passed, including the introduction of non-refundable tickets, the ability for airlines to charge for baggage and hire pilots from abroad, and the introduction of blacklists for disruptive passengers. It was these changes that harmonised Russia's Aviation Code and made it possible for low-cost flights to take off in Russia.
Pobeda launched its first flight on 1 December 2014. Since then it has had an enormous impact on making air transport accessible to ordinary Russians, with more than a million people flying for the first time in the low-cost carrier's first two years of operations. Since its first flight, Pobeda has already carried more than 15 million passengers.
In 2011, Vitaly Saveliev presented Aeroflot Group's Strategy-2025 to President Putin. The key goal of the strategy was to establish Aeroflot as one of the world's leading airlines, ranking in the top flight of global aviation. By 2025, Aeroflot Group was called on to become one of Europe's top five and the world's 20 largest aviation groups.
These goals were achieved significantly ahead of time, with Aeroflot becoming one of the world's top 20 airlines and one of Europe's five largest as early as 2017 (among legacy carriers). In 2018, Aeroflot confirmed its place among the 20 leading airlines worldwide, according to two authoritative global aviation publications, Flight Airline Business and Air Transport World. Over the years Aeroflot airline's passenger traffic has significantly increased, from 8.6 million passengers in 2009 to 32.8 million in 2017. In total, Aeroflot and its subsidiaries carried a record 50.1 million passengers in 2017.
This year, Aeroflot was named the world's strongest airline brand for the second time by Brand Finance, the leading independent brand valuation consultancy. Aeroflot's brand value is growing steadily and today amounts to USD 1.429 billion.
Aeroflot is a recognised premium carrier, holding 4-Star Airline status from Skytrax and a 5-Star Global Airline rating from US aviation association APEX. The Company regularly wins prestigious international awards: it was named Best Airline in Eastern Europe for the seventh time at 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards, and has twice been recognised as China's Favourite International Airline at the Flyer Awards. Russia's flag carrier was also named the world's leading airline brand at World Travel Awards 2017, known as the Oscars of the tourism industry.
Under Vitaly Saveliev Aeroflot has become the largest operator of modern Russian aircraft. The company operates 50 of the latest Sukhoi Superjet 100. In the coming years the Company is expected to take delivery of 50 MC-21. Aeroflot is considering further expansion of its fleet of Russian aircraft.
Aeroflot intends to strengthen its status as a leading global airline. Vitaly Saveliev and the Company's management team have prepared an updated Aeroflot Group Strategy-2023, which will be presented in the near future to President Vladimir Putin.