Pulkovo aims to increase transit traffic

Photo by Fyodor Borisov / Transport-Photo.com

St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport is implementing a program aimed at fostering transit traffic. The project, entitled M2, is intended to assist passengers on long, multiple-segment routes traveling with a number of airlines not tied by interline or code-shareing agreements. The airport’s initiative will enable such passengers to see a combined fare for their multi-segment flight before buyuing their tickets, choose convenient connections, register their luggage through to their destination, and do other things. At the same time, each of the carriers involved will only be responsible for its leg of the passenger’s route, while the airport will take care of the rest.

The airport’s role is managing the project, a Pulkovo spokesperson explains. Pulkovo requests the carriers involved to submit their transit fares for each route segment; the airport then consults the flight schedule, generates an appropriate connection, and quotes the final price for the entire route. The flight is then registered in the Transport Clearing House’s data system (the THC is the Russian organization responsible for billing and settlement), and the fares become available through the nationwide air ticketing information system Sirena-Travel.

“If a passenger and their luggage are registered through to their final destination at their departure point, then, as they connect at Pulkovo, they will be treated as transit passengers. That will make their connection procedures faster and more convenient,” the spokesperson commented. Minimum connection times within the M2 project are estimated to stand at 60 minutes.

The program has already kicked off fpr the airlines’ 2015-16 winter schedule. Several Russian airlines (Pskovavia, UVT-air, Yakutia, RusLine, NordStar, Nordavia, and Yamal), as well as two CIS carriers (Air Moldova and Belavia), have already joined in. The route network includes 34 destinations in Russia, the CIS, and East Europe. Tickets are sold with the use of M2 from the Pulkovo website, travel agencies, and flight aggregators.

The airport management is counting on the project to benefit all of the stakeholders: it is expected to improve passenger experience, facilitate marketing for the airlines involved, and increase transit traffic through Pulkovo, thus generating additional revenue.

Pulkovo’s traffic in the first 10 months of 2015 decreased 3.9% YOY to 11.9 million passengers. In January-October, 68 carriers served 150 destinations flying from St. Petersburg.

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