Russian airlines lose passengers to railway

Cost is becoming a priority over the duration of the trip for Russian travelers Cost is becoming a priority over the duration of the trip for Russian travelers (Photo by Fyodor Boisov /

Russian passengers are clearly choosing cheaper tickets over duration of their trip, reports national business daily Kommersant. The recent data shows that Russian Railways’ traffic growing amidst the struggle of the nation’s air carriers with a continuous traffic decline.

Since February 2016, a steady traffic growth has manifested itself for Russian Railways. In July, the passenger throughput grew 8% YOY, to 12.5 million passengers, whereas in June Russian airlines lost 11.3% of their traffic, falling to 8.7 million passengers. The fiercest competition is in the low-price segment, where one-way fare starts from 1,500 rubles ($23). From January to July, 57.9 million passengers used Russian railways only within this price segment.

Only low-cost carriers can offer such prices on a number of routes. Aeroflot’s low-cost subsidiary Pobeda managed to chip off some of railway passenger traffic by offering no-baggage fares. Some examples, where competition with the Russian Railways is hardly possible, include routes from Moscow to Yekaterinburg (average air fare – 2039 rubles, train ticket – 1695 rubles), Kazan (3036 rubles against 1139 rubles) and Kaliningrad (3900 rubles against 1912 rubles).

In terms of destinations, the Black Sea resorts remain at the top of the list. Russian Railways have reported a 15-20% YOY traffic increase on such destinations as Sochi, Krasnodar region and Mineralnye Vody.

At the same time, the number of passengers traveling on railways to destinations in Europe and China is also climbing at a double-digit rate, including to such destinations as France (+58%), Italy (+36%), Germany (+28%) and Czech Republic (+21%). Moscow – Nice is the most popular route, writes Kommersant.



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