Coronavirus forces Aeroflot to postpone the launch of its first regional hub

Krasnoyarsk flight programme will be re-visited in the summer

Aeroflot Last year Krasnoyarsk airport demonstrated a modest two per cent traffic increase, but is expecting a more dynamic growth once Aeroflot has embarked on its regional development programme (KJA)

As a result of a review of cost-cutting measures in the wake of the travel chaos caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s state-controlled flag carrier Aeroflot has postponed the opening of its first regional hub at Krasnoyarsk airport.

Yulia Spivakova, a spokeswoman for the airline, says the decision to move the launch date from March 29 until the summer of 2020, was jointly made by the managements of both the carrier and the airport. “We are now planning to have an official opening in June 2020. Accordingly, changes will be made to the schedule of flights through Krasnoyarsk airport,” she adds.

The collective agreement regarding the development of the international and domestic hub credentials at Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo (IATA code: KJA) was signed between the administration of the region, Aeroflot and Krasnoyarsk Airport itself on March 29 2019. Aeroflot’s Siberian hub project is a challenging plan that projects up to one million additional passengers served there annually by the Aeroflot Group by 2023.

Aeroflot first revealed its Krasnoyarsk flight programme details last October. Located in the heart of Siberia, it is the carrier’s first new hub to be established beyond Moscow and the airline even started selling tickets on seven routes out of its future hub, including direct domestic flights to Sochi, Irkutsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Simferopol, Yekaterinburg and Tomsk. Apart from these domestic destinations, Aeroflot is planning international services to Beijing from KJA. To operate all these routes, Russia’s flag carrier intends to base its mid-haul Boeing 737-800s, as well as its Russian-built Superjet 100 regional jets at Krasnoyarsk.

Last year Krasnoyarsk airport served 2.569 million passengers, having demonstrated a modest two per cent traffic increase, but is expecting a more dynamic growth once Aeroflot has embarked on its regional development programme. The bulk of KJA’s 2019 traffic – 1.975 million passengers – travelled domestically. Transfer traffic grew by 23 per cent to 86,000 passengers, but constitutes a mere 4.4 per cent of the total.

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