Russian passenger traffic up 16.8% in September
Russian airlines posted a 16.8% increase in passenger traffic in September 2017. Despite keeping within the double-digit range, that was the lowest growth rate since January excluding August, when combined passenger traffic was up 16.7%. The previous lowest rate was 18.3% in February this year. Traffic growth hit the year’s highest at 26.3% in May.
Russian operators carried a total of 10.688 million passengers in September. Like before, international traffic increased faster (up 32.2% to 4.541 million) than traffic on domestic routes. Passenger numbers carried to and from destinations outside the CIS increased 38.6% to 3.945 million; within the CIS, it was up 1.4% to 596,000. Domestic traffic in Russia grew 7.5%, with airlines carrying a total of 6.147 million passengers.
The overall seat load factor grew 0.5 percentage points to 85.7%. It increased 0.5 percentage points to 87.5% on international flights and 0.2 on domestic flights to 83.7%.
Russian airlines have carried 80.975 million passengers since the start of 2017, or 19.7% up year-on-year. International traffic soared 36.5% over the period to 32.998 million. That included 27.91 million passengers who traveled beyond the CIS, and 5.089 million (up 10%) within the CIS. Domestic passenger traffic for the first nine months of the year stood at 47.977 million (an increase of 10.4%). The seat load factor grew 1.9 percentage points to 84%.
The list of Russia’s top five airlines remained unchanged in January-September, but they saw their passenger traffic grow at varying paces. Aeroflot experienced a 14.2% rise in passenger traffic, carrying 24.789 million, while its subsidiary Rossiya Airlines’ traffic jumped 47.9% to 9.022 million. S7 Airlines posted a 1.9% increase in traffic (7.598 million); Ural Airlines’ traffic rose by 22.9% to 6.122 million; UTair Aviation reported a 9.85% growth (5.493 million). At the same time, the five largest air carriers saw their share in Russia’s total passenger traffic decrease from 66.9% in January through June 2016 to 65.5% for the same period this year.
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