Passenger traffic on Russian airlines down nearly 3% in March

The overall traffic slump was a result of fewer passengers being carried on international routes The overall traffic slump was a result of fewer passengers being carried on international routes (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

The combined passenger traffic reported by Russian carriers in March this year shrank 2.7% year-on-year to 5.826 million, the Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA) reports.

The overall decline can be explained the shrinking international traffic, which fell some 21.4% in March to 2.006 million passengers. Traffic on routes between Russia and the other CIS countries dropped 17.7% to 471,100 passengers; 22.5% fewer passengers (1.537 million) were flown on routes between Russia and destinations outside the CIS. This is fully in line with the long-standing trend of traffic within the CIS shrinking at a lower pace (except for February of this year, when traffic fell 21.7% year-on-year compared to 18.0% to destinations farther abroad).

Domestic traffic grew in March, also keeping with an established trend. A total of 3.830 million passengers were carried domestically (up 11.3%).

The overall seat load factor grew by 2.9 percentage points to 77.9%. The amount of freight and mail carried by passenger airliners reached 99,600 tons (up 15.8%).

The combined passenger traffic in January-March shrank 2.8% to 16.525 million, whereas the seat load factor grew from 74.8% to 75.9%. The amount of freight and mail carried grew 10.2% to 252,800 tons.

Each of the top five airlines demonstrated traffic growth in the first quarter of 2016. Aeroflot carried 6.229 million passengers (up 13.9%); S7 Airlines, 1.965 million (up 25.9%); UTair Aviation, 1.220 million (up 17.9%); Ural Airlines, 1.042 million (up 17.0%); and Pobeda, 950,800 (up 259.0%). The five carriers together accounted for 69% of all passengers flown over the reported period (up from 54.9%).

The top 15 Russian airlines carried a combined 90.8% of all passengers flown in Q1, up from 77.0%. Since late March, Donavia (13th largest airline for passengers carried) and OrenAir (eighth largest) have been operating as part of the merged super-carrier Rossiya (sixth largest for passengers in Q1). The merger may yet change the landscape of the Russian air transport market: Rossiya is expected to have carried over 9 million passengers in 2016.

UTair so far is the only of the top five carriers to have provided detailed statistics on its March performance. The airline carried 459,400 passengers, 33.7% up year-on-year. Its fleet flew 12,900 revenue hours (up 32.8%). UTair also carried 1,300 tons of freight and 481 tons of mail, or 15% and 96.2% up year-on-year, respectively. The management puts the overall performance growth down to a complex of measures to streamline business processes and adapt the business model to the current market situation, including through introducing additional frequencies and expanding the route network to a greater number of popular destinations.

  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Russian Aviation Insider
Newsletter
Powered by Air Transport Observer, Russia & CIS’ premier information provider on commercial aviation with a 20-year legacy, Russian Aviation Insider provides you with timely and reliable business news, insights and analysis on commercial aviation all around CIS.
Sign up for our free Newsletter and never miss:
  • Airline Business news and analysis
  • Aerospace Industry updates
  • Traffic statistic data and trends
  • Airport, MRO, Leasing and other related businesses
  • Appointments and promotions

Get relevant data from reliable industry sources!

Leave a comment