Russian airlines’ January traffic just 4 per cent short of the norm

And 47 per cent above January 2021

Russian airlines' January traffic (Gagarin airport)

In the first month of 2022 Russian airlines served collectively 8 million passengers, which is mere four per cent short of the pre-pandemic January 2019. The rating of the country’s five largest airlines has remained unchanged, both in terms of carriers and their positions therein. But their joint slice of the Russian market has reached 70 per cent, whilst the share of Aeroflot Group’s subsidiary airlines has somewhat decreased.

The RPKs at 18.87 bln, are still 13.7 per cent behind the pre-crisis levels, the consequence of the international markets remaining largely closed.

Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot with its premium long-haul legacy model logically saw its traffic shrink more than market average, to 1.7 million passengers, 39 per cent below January 2019, but still leads the market. Second largest, and the country’s major private airline S7 Airlines improved its pre-COVID results by 16 per cent, to 1.4 million passengers.

Aeroflot Group’s low-cost subsidiary Pobeda Airlines carried 1.2 million passengers, whopping 74 per cent on January 2019, its sister airline Rossiya served 667,400 passengers (up 5 per cent). All three of Aeroflot Group’s carriers were accountable for 3.6 million passengers, 12 per cent below the pre-crisis results.

Closing the TOP-5 ranking is privately-run Ural Airlines with 579,000 passengers, four per cent below the norm. All five increased their share of Russia’s air travel market to 69.4 per cent versus 66.4 in 2019.

(Compared to January 2019), passengers

1. (1) Aeroflot                        1.7 mln (2.78 mln);    –39%
2. (2) S7 Airlines                  1.4 mln (1.17 mln);    +16%
3. (3) Pobeda                         1.2 mln (0.69 mln);    +74%
4. (4) Rossiya                        0.67 mln (0.64 mln);   +5%
5. (5) Ural Airlines              0.58 mln (0.60 mln);   –4%

The recovery rates, when operational performance is compared against same month of last year, are impressive. Total traffic in Russia improved by 47 per cent, RPKs increased by 68 per cent. All of the five largest airlines improved their results compared to January last year –  Aeroflot by 58 per cent; S7 Airlines by 15 per cent; Pobeda by 28 per cent; Rossiya by 71 per cent; Ural Airlines by 42 per cent, according to preliminary data published by Russia’s aviation authority Rosaviatsiya.

For the entire 2022 head of Rosaviatsiya Alexander Neradko expects the Russian industry to outperform 2019. The growth “will be significant”, provided European routes reopen, he added.

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