Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline, has again been forced to put off the launch of its first regional hub at Krasnoyarsk. The new delay, this time by a year, comes in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. The launch, which was initially scheduled for the March 29 start of this year’s IATA summer season, was then moved back to June 1, but has now been further postponed to June 1, 2021, the airline has advised in an official letter to Alexander Uss, the governor of the Krasnoyarsk region.
Aeroflot announced its ambitious plan to launch a number of regional hubs in the summer of 2018. They were to be the carrier’s first such large-scale operations outside of its Moscow Sheremetyevo base. As part of this new regional strategy Aeroflot had also been planning to create three other new regional hubs, at Sochi, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.
The aim was to initially serve 12 destinations from Krasnoyarsk’s Yemelyanovo airport (IATA code: KJA) to Simferopol, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Tomsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Brarsk, Irkutsk and Yakutsk, as well as to Beijing and Sanya in China. The airline had planned to base five Superjet 100s and three Boeing 737-800s for its Siberian operations.
Aeroflot Group, which comprises Aeroflot itself, Rossiya Airlines, low-cost carrier Pobeda and Aurora, had targeted more than one million passengers at the Krasnoyarsk hub in 2020 alone. The airport’s entire traffic for 2019 was 2.6 million passengers.
In the meantime, in the first four months of this year, Siberian airport has already met its yearly target for freight transport, due to considerable growth of air cargo traffic.
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