For the first time in several months, UTair has reported a growth in passenger traffic, showing a nearly 30% increase in February over last year’s results from the same month.
The company explained that the sudden recovery is the result of the successful implementation of a strategy aimed at ensuring the carrier’s sustainability and balanced performance development. The program, called Impulse, has helped the carrier optimize its fleet and route network and adapt its business model to the changing market environment.
“As of today, UTair’s fleet and route network are completely balanced, which enables us to focus our efforts on improving the efficiency of the ongoing business processes and enhancing passenger experience,” commented Alexey Budnik, president of UTair – Passenger Airlines.
The carrier is counting on retaining last year’s traffic numbers this year, between five and six million passengers, according to the company’s CFO Pavel Permyakov. At the end of 2015, UTair carried 5.5 million passengers, down 33.3% YOY.
In February 2016, UTair served over 384,100 passengers, a 29.8% increase over the same period last year. The airline’s RPK also showed growth of 3%, reaching 603,700 PKM. The performance improved on domestic routes only (+27.9%) exceeding 491,000 PKM. Operational flight time reached 11,700 hours (+41.4% YOY).
As for the cargo sector, UTair demonstrated 18% growth to 1,233 tons of cargo and 425,000 tons of mail (+121.7%).
UTair’s operational performance had been deteriorating up to January of this year. In the first month of 2016, the carrier served 376,000 passengers, down 5% from the same period in 2015, while its RPK slid 44% to 599,700 PKM.
Many other major Russian airlines experienced an increase in traffic in February. S7 Airlines saw a 19.8% increase; Ural Airlines, a 25% increase. All of the mentioned carriers have introduced changes to their fare offers in order to attract passengers. Aeroflot and enjoyed a 13% growth in traffic, while its low-cost subsidiary Pobeda experienced triple traffic growth.
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