Passenger traffic through St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport in January 2017 surged 29.8% compared to the same month last year. The airport handled 1.018 million passengers. The growth was mainly generated by international service, where traffic climbed 43% reaching 337,000 passengers. On domestic routes traffic reached 681,300 passengers, up 24.2% to January last year.
The overlap of international segment’s growth rate over domestic is in line with the trend established across the entire commercial aviation industry in Russia. According to earlier reports, the cumulative international traffic served by Russian airlines in January grew 28.8% to 2.583 million passenger, whereas domestic traffic increased 15.3% to 4.054 million passengers. Strengthening of the national currency is one of the factors behind the surge of demand for travel outside Russia.
Belarusian capital Minsk topped the list of preferred destinations from St. Petersburg. Minsk airport is developing as a transit hub, and its base airline Belavia was named Pulkovo’s second-largest international customer. Minsk has been serving as a transit point between destinations in Russia and Ukraine since the two countries suspended direct air connection in 2015. It also offers connection flights to Europe.
Five largest international carriers, which besides Belavia include Lufthansa, Emirates, Uzbekistan Airways and KLM were accountable for 7.7% of Pulkovo’s total January traffic. Five largest Russian customers – Rossiya, Aeroflot, Ural Airlines, UTair and S7 contributed with 67.5% of the airport’s total passenger flow.
In 2016, traffic through Pulkovo slid 1.7% year-on-year to 13.265 million passengers. St. Petersburg’s airport came close to Vnukovo, Russia’s third largest airport, which lost 11.8% of its traffic and handled 13.947 million passengers.
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