OJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines, commonly known as Aeroflot, is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The carrier operates domestic and international passenger and services, mainly from its hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Aeroflot is one of the oldest airlines in the world, tracing its history back to 1923. During the Soviet era, Aeroflot was the Soviet national airline, following the dissolution of the USSR, the carrier has been transformed from a state-run enterprise into a semi-privatised company which ranked 19th most profitable airline in the world in 2007. Aeroflot is still considered the de facto national airline of Russia and it is 51%-owned by the Russian Government. As of September 2013, the Aeroflot Group had 30,328 employees, the company has embarked on a fleet modernisation programme, extensive route restructuring, and an image overhaul. The airline joined SkyTeam in April 2006, becoming the 10th member of the alliance, on 17 January 1921, the Sovnarkom of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic published About Air Transportation. The document signed by Lenin set out the regulations on air transport over the territory of the RSFSR. The document was significant as it was the first time that a Russian state had declared sovereignty over its airspace, in addition, the document defined rules for the operation of foreign aircraft over the Soviet Unions airspace and territory. After Lenin issued an order, a State Commission was formed on 31 January 1921 for the purpose of civil aviation planning in the Soviet Union. This was followed by the formation of Deruluft-Deutsch Russische Luftverkehrs A. G. in Berlin on 11 November 1921, as a joint venture between the Soviet Union and Germany. The company, whose aircraft were registered in both Germany and the Soviet Union, began operations on 1 May 1922 with a Fokker F. III flying between Königsberg and Moscow, the service was initially operated twice a week and restricted to the carriage of mail. On 3 February 1923 Sovnarkom approved plans for the expansion of the Red Air Fleet, the artist Alexander Rodchenko became involved in the ODVF at this time. He designed posters encouraging citizens to buy stock in Dobrolet and the famous Winged Hammer, regular flights by Dobrolet from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod commenced on 15 July 1923. During the same period, an additional two airlines were established, Zakavia being based in Tiflis, and Ukrvozdukhput based in Kharkov, during 1923 an agreement was signed establishing a subdivision of Dobrolet to be based in Tashkent, which would operate to points in Soviet Central Asia. Services between Tashkent and Alma Ata began on 27 April 1924, and by the end of 1924 the subdivision had carried 480 passengers and 500 kilograms of mail and freight, in March 1924, Dobrolet began operating flights from Sevastopol to Yalta and Yevpatoriya in the Crimea. Dobrolets route network was extended during the 1925–1927 period to include Kazan, plans were made for Dobrolet flights to Kharkov to connect with Ukrvozdukhput services to Kiev, Odessa and Rostov-on-Don. Expansion of air routes which had taken shape in the late 1920s, the agreement between the Soviet Union and Germany relating to Deruluft expired on 1 January 1937 and wasnt renewed, which saw the joint venture carrier ceasing operations on 1 April 1937. On that date Aeroflot began operations on the Moscow to Stockholm route, under the third Five-Year Plan, which began in 1938, civil aviation development continued, with improvements to airport installations being made and construction of airports being commenced
An early Soviet poster calling on citizens to buy stock in Dobrolyot.
An Aeroflot PS-84 (a Douglas DC-3, modified by fitment of Soviet engines) at Moscow City Airport in 1940. The Lisunov Li-2, a license-built version of the DC-3, would become the backbone of the fleet after the Great Patriotic War.
After its introduction in 1954, the Ilyushin Il-14 operated on Aeroflot's All-Union services.