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Russia to help with Slovak national airline

Igor Dula, director of Slovakia's Airport Authority, announced on August 15 that representatives of Russia's Aeroflot are helping Slovakia create a national carrier, RFE/RL reported. Since the Czech-Slovak split, Slovakia has had no national airline, although a number of small carriers exist. Aeroflot official Yevgenii Shaposhnikov met in Bratislava earlier this month with Slovak government officials, including Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar. The Russians reportedly are prepared to provide four to six planes for the new airline. Dula said it is too early to say when the airline will begin operations. Nearly 200,000 passengers used Bratislava's airport in 1995, a 33 percent increase over the previous year. However, many Slovaks fly from Vienna, since the Austrian capital offers more flights and is close to Bratislava.

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