Foreign airlines’ traffic to Moscow slumps 19.9%

Foreign airlines’ traffic on routes originating and ending in Russia is thinning faster than that of Russian carriers, reports Moscow Air Hub, an umbrella organization uniting Moscow’s largest three airports. According to its data, foreign airlines’ traffic through Sheremetyevo (SVO), Domodedovo (DME), and Vnukovo (VKO) has decreased by 19.9% since the beginning of the year compared to the same period in 2014, from 8.5 mln to 6.9 mln passengers. At the same time, Russian carriers have suffered less: their traffic has gone down 5.3%, from 20.9 mln to 19.8 mln passengers. Overall international traffic through the Moscow airports has declined by 9.5% year on year.

Moscow Air Hub’s statistics is a fair description of the market situation in general, since most international flights land in Moscow. Although no exact figures are available for other Russian regions, it is a sure bet that the situation there is similar as international carriers are cutting frequencies or withdrawing from Russian destinations altogether. Norwegian canceling its flights between Oslo and St. Petersburg, Lufthansa suspending operations to Nizhny Novgorod and Samara, and Finnair pulling out of Kazan are just a few examples illustrating this trend.

Russian airlines have also been struggling in the face of plummeting international traffic in the past year, following the sharp devaluation of the national currency. A slight increase in domestic travel has helped the Russian carriers stay afloat while optimizing their routes and capacity.

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