Today Aeroflot’s Public Council held its final meeting of 2016. The meeting was chaired by Tatiana Tarasova, the legendary Russian figure-skating coach.
Among the main agenda topics were Aeroflot Group’s results of the outgoing year and issues which require effective solutions in the coming year.
The company’s 2016 operating results were presented by Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev. Accroding to preliminary data, together with its subsidiaries Aeroflot will have carried 43.5 million passengers by the end of this year. This will be a new record in the Group’s recent history. The newly consolidated Rossiya airlines began operations, after uniting the assets of a previous carrier with the same name, as well as Donavia and Orenair airlines. Classic low-cost airline Pobeda, which offers some of the lowest fares in the industry, has significantly strengthened its market position. Far East carrier Aurora is demonstrating growth rates which are above industry average.
The challenging macroeconomic situation did not prevent Aeroflot Group from achieving solid financial results. IFRS Net income in 9M of 2016 amounted to RUB 43.8 billion, a 24-fold increase year-on-year. At the same time, Aeroflot has been developing social programmes, including the non-commercial flat tariff programme, which aims at increasing accessibility to Russia’s remote and strategic regions of the Far East, Crimea and Kaliningrad.
A key milestone of the year Aeroflot receiving a four-star rating from British consulting company Skytrax, the world’s leading guide for airline reviews and ratings. Aeroflot is first Russian carrier to be awarded such a high status, ranking it alongside global players such as Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways and Emirates.
In addition to Aeroflot’s achievements the Public Council discussed the issues facing civil aviation. Particular attention was paid to the problems related to unruly passengers. The number of on-board incidents is increasing, which could lead to devastating consequences. Ever since 2006, when Aeroflot first started registering incidents with unruly passengers, the company has blacklisted 3 thousand passengers who violated on-board behaviour rules. On top of that, around 6 thousand passengers were refused their right for air transportation because of the violations committed prior to aircraft take off.
The airline has drafted a list of proposals aimed at more effectively mitigating the problem of unruly passengers:
- to bring Russian legislation concerning this issue into accordance with international law, ensuring offender accountability for on-board rules violation in proportion to the degree of the severity of the violation;
- legally permit airlines to create lists and keep record of those who violate on-board behaviour rules (“blacklists”), and allow airlines to terminate air transportation agreements in case of a serious violation (physical assault on a crew member, material damage on-board an aircraft, forced landing due to unruly behaviour);
- significantly increase fines for violations committed while in flight;
- legally permit the in-flight use of special deterrence tools by crew members and members of aviation security service.
Public Council members believe that effective cooperation between business, society and the state will be crucial to Aeroflot’s development in 2017.
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