Growth of domestic air travel in Russia nears zero

Air travel on domestic routes increased a total of 1.6% in May Air travel on domestic routes increased a total of 1.6% in May (Photo by Leonid Faerberg /

In May of this year, passenger traffic aboard Russian domestic flights grew a total of 1.6%, to 4.397 million passengers, according to the Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA). In Q1 2016, traffic aboard domestic flights grew 11-15%; in April, this figure decreased to 6.8%. These decreasing figures come as a threat to the tendency of the past few years, in which Russian domestic flights have been rapidly increasing in frequency.

International traffic reduced by 32.9% in May of this year, to 2.488 million passengers. On routes to destinations located outside of the CIS, Russian airlines this year transported 1.987 million passengers, a fall of 35.1% from the same period last year; on routes to CIS destinations, this number decreased 22.4%, down to 502 thousand, over last year’s figure.

In total, the losses faced by the Russian air transport market were 14.3%, a fall to 6.885 million passengers. The total number of occupied seats decreased to 77.1%. The cargo sector also experienced losses: 78.9 thousand tonnes were carried in May of this year, a decrease of 12.7%.

In the first five months of 2016, total passenger traffic decreased by 6.5%, to 29.371 million passengers, and international traffic dipped by 25.6%, to 10.301 million passengers. Domestic traffic increased by 8.6%, to 19.070 million passengers. The number of occupied seats amounted to 76.6%. Cargo fell by 12.5%, reaching 359.8 thousand tonnes.

Positive results were demonstrated by Russia’s 15 largest airlines. The airline Pobeda showed the most positive results, with an increase of 95.4% in traffic, while Globus, a part of S7 Airlines, grew 29.9%. Nordstar and Aurora grew 28.9% and 20.6%, respectively.

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