Russia’s Aeroflot Group has a robust ruble and with solid demand to thank for a 16.3% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers for the first 10 months of 2017, the group’s operating results indicate.
During the period, the group’s main airline and Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot served 27.7 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 13.9%.
The revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) index increased by 17.3% for the group and by 11.4% for Aeroflot, while seat availability, measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs), rose by 15.5% year-on-year for the group and by 10.6% the airline.
The passenger load factor increased by 1.3% to 83.5% for the group and by 0.6% to 82.6% for the carrier.
The latest figures provide an insight into the success the business is experiencing overall this year. The group carried 4.3 million passengers in October, up 12.1% year-on-year. Aeroflot flew 2.9 million passengers – a year-on-year increase of 11.9%.
Also in October, the group’s RPK grew by 11.9% and that of the carrier by 9.6%. Their ASKs rose by 10.2% and 10.3%, respectively.
It was an improvement in the group’s international operations that significantly contributed to the growing figures. International passenger numbers increased by 19.3% year-on-year, whilst the group’s RPKs rose by 16.8% and capacity rose by 16.7%. The number of passengers carried by the airline on international routes increased by 11.7%. Its RPKs increased by 10.3%, and its ASKs by 11%.
According to Aeroflot Group’s statement, a stable increase in demand and the strengthening of the ruble fuelled this impressive growth, along with a number of operational changes. These included increased frequencies, new routes to new international destinations, the development of partnerships between the group’s other carrier, Rossiya Airlines, and tour operators, as well as the international route network of Pobeda Airlines, Russia’s only LCC which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aeroflot.
Domestic routes also enjoyed an upward trajectory in passenger numbers in October. The group’s passenger numbers and RPKs grew by 6.5% and 5.2% year-on-year, respectively. Domestic ASKs grew by 1.5%, while Aeroflot’s passenger numbers and RPKs were up 12.2% and 8.3%, respectively. The carrier’s ASKs grew by 8.9%.
In the face of such solid demand, fleet renewal is ever more essential to the company’s growth strategy, says the statement.
Overall, since the start of the year, Aeroflot Group’s fleet has increased by 27 aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 312 units as of 31 October 2017 (excluding one Antonov An-24, which was leased out, and six An-148s, which were sub-leased).
In October, the group added five more aircraft: three B737-800s, one A320, and an A321. A B737-800 was phased out.
Since the start of the year, Aeroflot’s fleet has increased by 25 aircraft, bringing the total fleet size to 214 as of 31 October.
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