Aeroflot returns to a more optimistic outlook

By 2021 Aeroflot’s fleet will expand to 380 aircraft By 2021 Aeroflot’s fleet will expand to 380 aircraft (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / transport-photo.com)

Russia’s Aeroflot Group, which has previously downgraded its traffic growth forecast twice, has returned to its more optimistic projections. The group reported that its strategy had proven successful, and it is now ready to streamline its development. The bet is on Aeroflot’s transit traffic and Pobeda’s low-cost service, according to the reports of the airline’s recent board meeting.

The group that besides the parent airline includes subsidiaries Rossiya, Pobeda and Aurora, is counting on its traffic to reach 66 million passengers in 2021. Out of this number the title carrier is expected to handle 41.8 million passengers. Up to now the group’s forecast has been more conservative at 61.5 million passengers for the entire group and 38.8 million passengers for Aeroflot.

The previous target was set in February 2016, which marked the second time the group downgraded its development plans from the initial 67.6 million passengers by 2020 and the later forecast of 64.7 million passengers.

The fleet expansion program has been amended as well. The latest board meeting called for the fleet to reach 380 aircraft by 2021, up from the previous plan of 346 aircraft. The latest version is closer to the initial plan of 383 aircraft by 2020.

Regardless of recent downturn on the Russian air transport market Aeroflot Group demonstrated sound traffic growth rates. One of the drivers behind the growth is the exit of Russia’s second largest airline Transaero from the market last year. Transaero’s share of traffic was redistributed among other major market players including Aeroflot.

Aeroflot carried 26.1 million passengers in 2015 alone and 39.5 million as a group. The group reached a level of 36.7 million passengers for the first ten months of this year, out of which the title airline is accountable for 24.3 million passengers. At the end of October the group operated the fleet of 291 aircraft.

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