Russian airlines’ October traffic down just 2.2% from pre-crisis levels

RPKs also on recovery track whilst financial performance lags behind

Russian airlines' October 2021 traffic (SIP)

In October 2021 Russian airlines’ traffic was mere 2.2 per cent below the same month of the pre-crisis 2019. According to preliminary data published by Russia’s aviation authority Rosaviatsiya, the country’s airlines handled collectively 10.9 million passenger in October, which almost brings them to the level of October 2019 (11.14 million).

Compared to last year, when air travel was heavily restricted due to COVID-19 pandemic, this year shows a healthy 60 per cent improvement. RPKs were 9.1 per cent short of the pre-crisis year.

In October national carrier Aeroflot once again led the market with 2.1 million passengers, followed by its privately-owned rival S7 Airlines with 1.5 million passengers. Aeroflot Group’s divisions LCC Pobeda and Rossiya Airlines served 1.3 million and roughly 1 million passengers, respectively. The last in the TOP-5 elite, privately-held Ural Airlines carried 868,000 passengers.


1 (1) Aeroflot                                 2.1 mln pass.;    –34%
2 (2) S7 Airlines                            1.5 mln pass.;     –0.1%
3 (5) Pobeda                                  1.3 mln pass.;    +40%
4 (3) Rossiya Airlines                   1.0 mln pass.;      +9%
5 (4) Ural Airlines                         0.87 mln pass.;   –0.8%

In the period from January through October 2021 Russian airlines’ traffic reached 94.4 million passengers, down 14.4 per cent from the same period of the pre-COVID year 2019. RPKs for the ten months were 204.8 billion (down 25.8 per cent).

Whilst operational performance figures look reassuring, the industry’s financial indicators are still a cause of concern for the professional community. According to Russia’s Air Transport Operators Association, the operational losses of Russian airlines remain disproportionately huge – in the first year half they reached 53.9 billion roubles, having reduced from 120 billion roubles losses a year ago.

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