LONDON—Russian airline Aeroflot is seeking a global PR firm to help it rejuvenate a global reputation that was once synonymous with poor safety and service.

The $1.5m assignment, which looks to strengthen the Russian flag carrier's image in a number of markets, comes after a steady improvement in Aeroflot's reputation over recent years. 

Yet while Aeroflot's safety and service ratings have improved considerably, the company is keen to address the perception gap that persists in many countries. 

Accordingly, the assignment calls for a PR agency that will help demonstrate how Aeroflot's security and quality of service matches other global carriers.

It is understood that Aeroflot has contacted a number of global PR firms regarding the one-year brief, with a decision expected by the end of March.

The assignment spans a number of markets, including the US, UK, Germany, France, China, Japan and South Korea. It does not involve domestic activities in Russia.

The brief also aims to boost Aeroflot's image as a "modern, vibrant airline", in a bid to influence business travellers and the general public. The company is also seeking to build a stronger crisis management capability.

In addition to providing reputation management services, furthermore, agencies will be asked to demonstrate a broad range of skills, including social media and sponsorship support.

Last year Aeroflot struck a five-year sponsorship deal with Manchester United, and also sponsors CSKA Moscow, the Brooklyn Nets and the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The search comes shortly after Aeroflot hired agencies in the US and UK to handle investor relations. EM oversees financial PR duties in London and Moscow, supported by Frontier PR in the US.  

An Aeroflot representative confirmed that the search for a global PR agency is underway.