September proved relatively favorable for Russian airlines in terms of operational results – against the background of the ongoing global crisis in the air travel industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although major restrictions on international travel reduced overall traffic by 31.7 per cent compared to September 2019, Russia’s domestic market grew 6.8 per cent to 7.465 million passengers, according to the latest market update from the country’s aviation authority Rosaviatsiya.
The RPKs dropped more dramatically, by 44.9 per cent to 17.62 billion. Collectively Russian airlines carried 8.763 million passengers. Six airlines managed to improve their operational performance, and not only two airlines from the TOP-5 elite – S7 Airlines (+4.8 per cent) and LCC Pobeda (+17.8 per cent), but also regional carriers Nordavia (+6.8 per cent), all-Superjet 100 operator Azimuth Airlines (+4.2 per cent) and Alrosa (+2.6 per cent), as well as Siberian Light Aviation (+17.3 per cent) and ChukotAvia (+19.6 per cent).
The market share of five largest airlines continues to increase, reaching 64.5 per cent in September up from 63.9 per cent a year ago. The first 15 airlines generated collectively 94.1 of the entire traffic, compared to 89.8 per cent in September.
On the 18 international routes (to 15 countries) that were operational in September, Russian airlines carried just 1.29 million passengers – down 77.7 per cent compared to September 2019.
Average industry seat load factor decreased 4.7 percentage points to 82.4 per cent.
In the nine months of 2020 Russian airlines served 52.56 million passengers, down 47 per cent year on year.
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