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Savelyev appointed new CEO of Russia's Aeroflot


MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti) - The board of directors of Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot on Thursday accepted the resignation of CEO Valery Okulov and appointed Vitaly Savelyev as the company's new head, a source said.

Savelyev is expected to take office in late May. Okulov, who will step down on April 10, has accepted a proposal by Transportation Minister Igor Levitin to become his deputy, the source at the board meeting told RIA Novosti.

Savelyev, 55, first vice president of Russian holding company AFK Sistema, who is currently on vacation, is to become Aeroflot's acting CEO as soon as Okulov, the son-in-law of Russia's late president, Boris Yeltsin, quits.

Okulov, 56, started his career in Aeroflot as an flight navigator and joined the company's board of directors in 1995. He became Aeroflot's CEO in 1997.

"The early termination of Okulov's term in office and the election of Savelyev brings no changes in the obligations of the company before creditors, contractors and labor. The continuity of Aeroflot's development strategy will be ensured," Russia's Transportation Ministry said.

Aeroflot's shareholders are to elect the new board of directors on June 20, a company spokesman said.

Aeroflot carries more than 10 million people annually and a further 2 million on its subsidiaries. The airline accounts for more than 45% of Russian scheduled international flights and serves 96 destinations in 49 countries.

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