Pressure on Aeroflot

Reuters reports today on a government plan to remove Valery Okulov from his CEO post at Aeroflot, the company which he previously described as my life.  Investors worry that the move will damage the airline’s management, and analysts link it to ‘a state plan to carve up the aviation sector and hand most of it to Russian Technologies’, the state arms-maker headed by Sergei Chemezov, a former KGB colleague of Vladimir Putin.  Chemezov also heads Russian Airlines, a conglomerate created by the state last year as a competitor for Aeroflot.  Both of his businesses, in other words, seem keen to put Aeroflot into early retirement.

Is this part of a wider government plan to merge Russia’s arms and aviation industries into yet another state giant, or a genuine push for efficiency?  After all, it’s not as though Aeroflot’s record is spotless…