Russian airport reaches annual freight volume target in four months

At the same time, Krasnoyarsk, Aeroflot’s first would-be new regional hub, registered an 88 per cent decline in passenger traffic

Krasnoyarsk air freight Aeroflot has postponed the proposed March opening of its first regional hub at Krasnoyarsk airport to June (KJA)

Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo airport (IATA code: KJA), which has been selected as the first new regional air hub for Aeroflot, has suffered a drastic reduction in passenger traffic numbers due to the Coronavirus pandemic – but its freight traffic is growing steadily and considerably.

In April, the Siberian airport handled just 25,000 passengers – a mere 12 per cent of the 193,000 passengers total registered in April 2019. Compared to the same month of last year, the number of commercial passenger aircraft departures decreased by 72 per cent to just 287 – and international services through the airport have been totally suspended since March 22.

By contrast, in the first four months of this year, Krasnoyarsk has already met its yearly target for freight transport. In April the number of freight aircraft departures hit a record 422 and the 949 total of freight flights in the first four months has already exceeded by 21 the total for the entire year 2019. The number is quadruple that of the results achieved in April 2019. International freight volumes also hit a record 300 tonnes compared to 192 in April 2019 and 91 in March of this year.

In April, the resultant total number of aircraft movements declined by 33 per cent year-on-year to 709. Commenting on the month’s operational performance, Krasnoyarsk airport’s general director Andrey Metzler notes that an “anti-crisis programme, including an up to 70 per cent discount on all ground handling services,” was offered in April to support all airlines.

“The airport continues to operate in its normal mode whilst also complying with all measures for mitigating the spread of the virus,” he adds.

In early March, in the wake of the travel chaos caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s state-controlled flag carrier Aeroflot postponed the opening of its first regional hub at Krasnoyarsk airport from March to June, at the earliest.

According to Russia’s aviation authority Rosaviatsiya, combined passenger traffic for Russia’s carriers plunged by 91.8 per cent year-on-year in April.

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