Russian airlines’ traffic to BRICS countries short of 50% of the pre-pandemic level

Traffic to BRICS countries represents 10% of Russia’s total international traffic in 2023

Russian airlines’ traffic to BRICS :: Rosaviatsiya

Russian airlines traffic between Russia and BRICS countries grew 70% last year compared to 2022 reaching 2.4 million passengers. Despite the uptick, the number is still just 48.5 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels, even though 2019 traffic numbers were affected by a ban on flights to popular Egyptian resorts.

Speaking at the BRICS Tourism Forum in Moscow on June 21, head of Rosaviatsiya Dmitry Yadrov, said Russia currently sustains direct air service with 37 states, including six BRICS countries – Egypt, India, Iran, China, UAE and Ethiopia.

“The volume of passenger transportation with the BRICS countries in 2023 amounted to 10% of the total volume of passengers transported to international destinations,” Yadrov said.

In 2023 destinations in Egypt generated 917,000 passengers for Russian airlines (a 4.5 per cent growth year-on-year), making Egypt the most popular country for Russian travelers. The route network currently includes 23 routes with the total of 126 flights operated weekly between the countries by five Russian and three Egyptian air carriers.

United Arab Emirates rank second, with 775,700 passengers in 2023 – a 93 per cent year-on-year growth but still just 66.6 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. Total of 185 weekly flights on 17 routes are operated by eight Russian airlines and five carriers from the UAE.

In 2023 Russian airlines carried 395,400 passengers between Russia and China, which is 12 times more than in 2022, when rigid COVID restrictions were in place in China. However, it’s just 13.4 per cent of 2019 traffic, which almost reached 3 million passengers. Eight airlines from each side operate 162 weekly flights on 31 routes.

Aeroflot is currently the only airline operating flights to India. Russia’s national carrier serves eight weekly flights to Delhi. Last year traffic between Russia and India reached 256,700 passengers, just 39.8 per cent of the pre-crisis level.

Russian airlines’ traffic to Iran, which has never been very high, climbed 18.3 per cent year on year, to 45,900 passengers, corresponding to 59 per cent of the 2019 results.

Ethiopian Airlines is the only carrier, which operates flights between Russia (Moscow) and Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), four times a week.

There’s no steady passenger traffic flow between Russia and Brazil or Russia and the South African Republic, so Russian airlines do not consider serving these routes as commercially viable, according to Rosaviatsiya.

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