Russian airlines’ cargo traffic shrinks for first time in 18 months

Russian airlines will have to adapt Pobeda, the low-cost sister company of Aeroflot, is demonstrating the highest cargo traffic growth rate (Pobeda Airlines)

In February this year, cargo traffic carried by Russian airlines showed a downward tendency for the first time since since October 2016, according to Federal Air Transport Agency. The agency indicates a 1.6% decrease compared to February last year, to 71,900 tons.

The international segment decreased by 5.4% to 51,400 tons, whereas domestic traffic actually continued to grow, at 9.4% year-on-year to 20,500 tons.

One of the top five airlines by cargo traffic was Aeroflot’s low-cost sister company Pobeda Airlines, which demonstrated the highest growth rate. It carried 4,400 tons of cargo in the first two months of 2018, or 111 times more than in the same period in 2017.

The leaders are AirBridgeCargo, Aeroflot and S7 Airlines, which carried 82,200 tons (+4.9%), 29,900 tons (+4.3%) and 4,600 tons (+2.1%) respectively. The fifth largest, Rossiya Airlines, carried 4,200 tons, and demonstrated the lowest growth rate if 1.3%.

Volga-Dnepr, the sixth on the list, continues a downward trend, having carried 3,800 tons of cargo, down 28% year on year.

FATA also reported on passenger traffic in February. Last month Russian airlines collectively carried 6.8 million passengers, up 10.9% on February 2017. The international segment continued to grow at a faster rate of 13.4% (to 2.6 million passengers). Domestic traffic grew 9.4% to 4.2 million passengers.

Out of the five largest airlines, the only carrier to see a traffic drop was Rossiya Airlines, ranking third largest. It carried 1.2 million passengers, down 6.7% from February last year. The fastest growing operator was Ural Airlines, the fifths on the list with 1 million passengers, up 19.9% year-on-year. Aeroflot and S7 Airlines retained their leading positions with 4.7 million passengers (up 4.8%) and 1.5 million (up 15.5%), respectively. S7 Airlines’ operational results have been climbing partly due to a 7.9% reduction in its sister company Globus’s operations.

UTair came fourth with 1.1 million passengers, up 18.9%.

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