Aeroflot expands codeshare with China Southern Airlines
Aeroflot has expanded its codeshare agreement with its Sky Team partner, China Southern Airlines. The Russian flagship carrier will place its SU code on China Southern’s flights between Guangzhou and Moscow as well as Guangzhou – Wuhan – Moscow service.
Aeroflot’s codeshare partnership with China’s largest airline started in 2007. The current expansion of the two airlines’ cooperation is in line with the current trend of increasing popularity of Chinese destinations among Russian tourists. “According to the Russia Tourism Administration, from the first quarter of 2014, China became the biggest outbound tourism market to Russia,” the Chinese carrier said in a statement.
At the same time, Chinese tourists account for a large share of incoming traffic at Russian airports. St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport predicted a 40% increase of traffic from China this year, as China becomes the top international destination at the airport. It is the only airport in Russia, which features a schedule in three languages: Russian, English and Chinese.
In 2015, approximately 67,000 Chinese passengers traveled to Russia, an increase of 67% compared with the previous year. Considering this huge market growth potential, China Southern launched several scheduled flights between China and Russia, including Guangzhou to Moscow and Urumqi to St. Petersburg. Other Chinese carriers, including China Eastern, launched charter and regular service to Russia.
Total number of passengers carried by Russian airlines on regular between the two countries exceeded 1.4 million in 2015, up from 1.3 million in the previous year.
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