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The Russian government is being urged to remove VAT on domestic airline tickets as part of a number of reforms suggested by Iata.

The call came as the global aviation trade body signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian Association of Air Transport Operators in Moscow.

Iata proposed an agenda to strengthen aviation in Russia based on the further implementation of global standards and best practices.

Director general and chief executive, Tony Tyler, said: “A healthy aviation sector is vital for Russia – connecting the communities across the country’s vast land mass and proving vital trade and cultural links globally.

“These are difficult times for Russian aviation and there is no silver bullet solution to invigorating the sector.

“However, a partnership agenda that extends the positive impact that global standards are having in safety and distribution will strengthen the foundations of the sector for success.”

Iata called on the Moscow government to “recognise the benefits of lowering and eventually removing VAT” for domestic air transport.

The government should also ensure that airport charges and infrastructure developments are agreed by airlines and airport operators with a focus on cost-efficiency and aligned with the global principles agreed by governments through the International Civil Aviation Organisation. These include transparency, meaningful consultation and non-discrimination.

Airport security should also be improved passenger hassle reduced by combining new technology with regulatory best practices, Iata said.

Efforts are also needed to safeguard the environment through support of a market-based measure to manage the aviation industry’s carbon footprint.