MOSCOW, December 26 - RAPSI. The antimonopoly watchdog has decided to open a case against the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) on suspicion of violating the antitrust law, the service reported.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service is expected to probe Rosaviatsiya for its decision to bar Transaero airline from running charter flights to Italy.

Transaero said in late November that Rosaviatsiya illegally prohibited it from flying to Italy. Aeroflot, Russia's leading airline, which was the only carrier who ran Moscow-Rome and Moscow-Milan flights, said earlier that Transaero was not entitled to sell tickets on its charter flights to Italy as it was neither officially assigned to run flights on this route nor had obtained a permit to do so. Rosaviatsiya later said that Russia and Italy had agreed to assign one more Russian airline to run Moscow-Rome and Moscow-Milan charter flights in the 2011-2012 winter season.

The antimonopoly watchdog says that, according to the available information, Rosaviatsiya granted permits to several airlines, including Transaero, on November 2 to run charter flights on the Moscow-Rome, Moscow-Milan and Moscow-Venice routes. Transaero entered into contracts to run charter flights in winter 2011\2012 based on this decision. The airline was expected to start flying to Italy on December 28. However, Rosaviatsiya annulled the permits on November 10.