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Moscow Airport Road Blockage Costs Aeroflot Dear


An Aeroflot plane takes off from Sheremetevo.

An Aeroflot plane takes off from Sheremetevo.

MOSCOW -- The Russian airline Aeroflot says it lost 700,000 euros ($875,000) in one day as a result of a traffic problem on the major highway leading to Moscow's main airport, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Aeroflot Deputy Director Andrei Kalmikov today said that due to a multikilometer traffic jam on the Leningrad highway that leads to Sheremetevo Airport, 1,300 people missed their flights on June 28.

According to Russian law, Aeroflot must refund at least three-fourths of the cost of the unused tickets.

Sheremetevo Director Mikhail Vasilenko says four of the six lanes on the highway have been closed for maintenance, causing a several kilometer-long traffic jam.

Vasilenko and the Russian Tour Agents Association blame Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

It is the height of tourist season in Russia. Vasilenko writes on his blog that more than 70,000 people a day pass through Sheremetevo Airport.

The directors of Russia's Tour Agents Association say they are angry at the closing of the four lanes during peak flying season and plan to write an open letter to Luzhkov.

Vasilenko says he wants Luzhkov to resign, and that he will complain to Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service. The construction on the highway is connected to the opening of a new terminal reserved for usage by the Moscow government at another Moscow airport, Vnukovo.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov to resolve the problem.
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