HISTORY: AEROFLOT (RUSSIAN AIRLINES) is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. On 25 March 1932 the name AEROFLOT was officially adopted for the entire Soviet Civil Air Fleet. Shortly after the end of the Russian civil war in 1921, the new government established the chief administration of the civil air fleet to oversee budding air transport projects. One of its first acts was to help found the Deutsch-Russische Luftverkehrs (Derruluft), a joint venture created to provide service from Russia to the West. Domestic aviation began around the same time, when Dobrolet, later Dobroflot, was formed in 1923 to provide services between Moscow and Nizhni Novgorot, later expanded to points throughout Russia and to Mongolia and Afghanistan. In 1932, all civil aviation activities were consolidated under the name of Grazdansij Wozdusnyi Flot, simply known as Aeroflot. By the end of 1930s, Aeroflot had become the world’s largest airline. In January 1971, the Aeroflot Central Administration of International Air Traffic was established within the framework of the International Airline Transport Administration, and became the industry’s sole enterprise authorized to operate international flights. Abroad the airline was knoen as “Aeroflot – Soviet Airlines”. In 1992 it was divided into more 300 regional airlines, and international routes were operated separately as Aeroflot Russian International Airlines (ARIA). Two years later Aeroflot was registered as a joint stock company, and the government sold 49% of its stake to Aeroflot employees. In 2000 the company changed its name to “Aeroflot – Russian Airlines”. Plans to join Sky Team alliance in 2004.
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