Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) will drop Frankfurt Int'l to Ekaterinburg, Russia flights from January 22, 2014 as part of its cost-reduction drive. "We deeply regret that Lufthansa, after ten years of partnership, is withdrawing," Koltsovo spokesman Dmitry Tjuchtin told Russian newswire, RIANovosti. The airport is reportedly in talks with five local carriers to help fill the gap. However, Russian opposition politician, Alexander Burkov, claims the move was politically engineered to favour Russian carriers at the expense of the Germans. "In my opinion, Lufthansa was displaced from the market," he said, adding that the airline's 04h00L departure slot had rendered the flights "uncomfortable" and therefore unviable.