Babyflot is the informal name given to any airline in the former Soviet Union created from the dissolution of the Soviet airline monopoly Aeroflot in the early 1990s, at the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union. The word is a portmanteau of "baby" and "Aeroflot", compare Baby Bells.
In 1992 Aeroflot was divided into more than 300 regional and other smaller airlines, with many having just one-plane operations. International routes were operated separately as Aeroflot—Russian International Airlines (ARIA). Some airline companies created from the old Aeroflot are now flag carriers of independent post-Soviet countries — for example, Uzbekistan Airlines, and Lithuanian Airlines.
Fall of the Babyflots
There were over 800 such airlines at one time with many of them subsequently closing down due to abysmal safety records in 1994. 118 carriers went out of business because fewer passengers could afford to fly than in 1995.
By 2000, Russia had only about eight federal air carriers and 40 to 45 regional airlines - down sharply from the current 315 carriers, said Ivan Valov, first deputy chief of the Russian Federal Aviation Service. The government began to restrict licensing and certification and bring air-safety standards into compliance with international standards. The "Babyflot" airlines have been blamed for a sharp decline in Russia's air safety. Many of the crashes that occurred been blamed on poor maintenance and lax controls at many small carriers, which have neglected flight safety in their run for profit.
The eight hundred-odd "Babyflot" airlines had such poor safety records that in 1994 the International Air Transport Association took the unusual step of recommending train travel as the least life-threatening form of conveyance in the former Soviet Union.
List of babyflots
- 2nd Arkhangelsk United Aviation Division
- 2nd Sverdlovsk Air Enterprise
- ARP 410 Airlines
- Abakan Avia
- Air Kharkov
- Air Ukraine
- Air Volga
- Arkhangelsk Airlines
- Baikal Airlines
- BAL Bashkirian Airlines
- Belgorod Air Enterprise
- Bravia (Bryansk Air Enterprise)
- Bugulma Air Enterprise
- Dagestan Airlines
- Domodedovo Airlines
- Estonian Air
- Georgian Airways
- Kazan Air Enterprise
- Kemerovo Aviation Enterprise
- Kuban Airlines
- Mavial Magadan Airlines
- Nefteyugansk Air Enterprise
- Nikolaevsk-Na-Amure Air Enterprise
- Novosibirsk Air Enterprise
- Orenburg Airlines
- Perm Airlines
- Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise
- Polar Airlines
- Pulkovo Airlines
- SAT Airlines
- Samara Airlines
- Saransk Air Enterprise
- Siberia Airlines (now S7 Airlines)
- UTair Aviation
- Uzbekistan Airways
- Vladivostok Air
- Tavernise, Sabrina. "TRAVEL ADVISORY: CORRESPONDENT'S REPORT; Aeroflot Without Fear In Today's Russia." The New York Times. October 20, 2002.
- "Russia Says 'Babyflot' Era is Over" Moscow Times. Saturday January 17, 1998.
- Brits help put Babyflot, SIBR, on new course
- S7: Bringing Siberia Airlines In From The Cold
- An Open Letter to AeroSvit, Ukrainian Airlines
- DK World Reports RUSSIA
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