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December 2017 - Russia: Visa-free entry to Russia for the FIFA World Cup.

Football enthusiasts who want to travel to Russia to attend the FIFA 2018 World Cup competitions are exempt from the Russian visa provided they hold a personal spectator card - better known as a FAN ID -, a valid identity document, and an entry ticket to a match (or a document providing the right to receive it).

The FAN ID is the card that any spectator of the 2018 World Cup matches must hold to gain access to the stadiums. In order to get the FAN ID, you must first buy a ticket for the FIFA World Cup, then register on the official website or at a FAN ID distribution center.

Otherwise, you may apply for a tourist visa (or a private visa if you have relatives or friends in Russia) at the consular services of Russia in your country or at a licensed visa center (for example, the companies VFS in Great Britain, VHS in several European countries and ILS USA in the United States). In order to apply for a tourist visa, you must have booked the trip with a travel operator that has been approved by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a hotel reservation is not enough) and pay the visa fee (€35 for European citizens and $160 for American citizens).

October 26, 2015: Russia - Transaero shuts down.

Because of its dramatic financial situation, Transaero, the second largest airline of Russia, had to stop its activities. Indeed, its air operator's certificate (AOC) has been cancelled. The flights scheduled for the coming weeks were mostly transferred to Aeroflot. Earlier, Aeroflot had given up taking control of Transaero.
September 2015: Russia - Aeroflot takes over Transaero.

September 2015: Russia - Aeroflot takes over Transaero.

For a symbolic price of one ruble, Aeroflot, the leading Russian airline, is going to absorb the second airline of the country, Transaero, which has struggled with heavy debts ($1.6 billion). The integration of both airlines will take about 6 months. After the merger, Aeroflot will get a dominant position on the Russian market, with a market share of more than 50%. Among the other Russian airlines, you find S7 (formerly Siberian Airlines), Ural Airlines, Utair (also in financial difficulty) and VIM Airlines.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Aeroflot has been privatized only partially. It remains under state control, since the Russian Government owns 51% of its capital. Transaero was a private equity company. Aeroflot is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, which includes also airlines such as the American company Delta and the French group Air France.



itar-tass news agency
the moscow times
sputnik international - radio

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