Moscow Domodedovo Airport is Russia’s largest in terms of passenger traffic, with more than 22 million passengers in 2010.
PRWeek understands that Domodedovo, one of three international airports serving Moscow, is seeking a global PR agency to grow its corporate reputation and attract more international airlines.
It is thought that a number of global PR networks have been asked to provide credentials and initial proposals.
One source added that the airport planned to operate an ‘e-auction’ where agencies will bid for the brief online.
A key aspect of the corporate media relations account will be addressing any safety concerns in the international media.
In January, a suicide bomber exploded a device at the airport’s arrivals hall that killed 37 people and injured 173. Russian authorities are reported to be investigating possible security shortcomings that may have enabled the incident to take place.
The operator of the airport, DME, dropped its planned London listing in June, with market sources suggesting political risk had put off potential investors.
Russian tycoon Dmitry Kamenshchik owns 100 per cent of the airport and has overseen its growth over the past decade to overtake the more established Sheremetyevo as the city’s major international transport hub.
It is understood that Domodedovo is targeting a number of international carriers that have not yet moved from Sheremetyevo, such as KLM and Alitalia, and will use the successful agency to support this growth drive.
An investment programme to double the airport’s capacity is under way, including construction of a third terminal to be completed in 2012.
Domodedovo did not respond to PRWeek’s requests for comment.