Russian airlines traffic numbers slumped by 26.6 per cent in March

LCC Pobeda was the only one in the top-five to see year-on-year growth in the first month of the Coronavirus crisis

Russian airlines The March traffic data shows massive traffic volume declines after the introduction of restrictions to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (Simferopol airport)

Russian aviation regulator Rosaviatsiya has published its preliminary results for March 2020, the first month of the on-going Russian air travel market downturn following the Coronavirus pandemic. The data shows massive traffic volume declines after the introduction of restrictions to mitigate the spread of the infection.

In March, Russian airlines carried a collective total of 6.57 million passengers, down 26.6 per cent on the same month of last year, as traffic volumes declined by 25.6 per cent to 17.388 RPKs.

The only airline in the top-five group that managed to improve its year-on-year performance during the month was Aeroflot Group’s low-cost subsidiary Pobeda Airlines. The LCC carried 748,000 passengers, up three per cent on March 2019, ranking it as Russia’s third largest after parent Aeroflot and S7 Airlines. 

Despite Aeroflot’s privileged position as Russia’s only airline allowed to continue some international flights before the borders were closed in late March, the Russian flag carrier nevertheless experienced a 41.5 per cent drop of passenger numbers in the month, down to 1.8 million passengers. A similar traffic slow down of 41.7 per cent was registered by its sister airline Rossiya, which carried 415,100 passengers, ranking it as Russia’s fifth largest.

Aeroflot’s privately owned rival S7 Airlines served 999,600 passengers in the period, 22.1 per cent down on March 2019.

Russia’s fourth largest carrier, Ural Airlines, suffered a similar decline of traffic numbers, with passenger figures down by 25.4 per cent to 494,000.

In the first three months of this year Russia’s airlines collectively carried 23.4 million passengers, down by 5.3 per cent year-on-year.

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