Russian traffic more Moscow centered than ever

Photo courtesy of Domodedovo

Moscow Aviation Cluster, made up of three Moscow airports – Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo in the first eight months of 2015 served 77% of all Russian airports’ entire traffic. This is a 15-year record figure, Marina Bukalova, marketing director at Domodedovo, pointed out. Last time same level of traffic concentration was observed in 2000; it was lower in the previous downturn of 2009.

“In the previous five years airlines’ and tour operators’ efforts in developing regional links resulted in decrease in Moscow-centered traffic down to 72%,” Bukalova said, but she didn’t rule out, that the concentration may even increase towards the year-end.

Russian airports’ total traffic in the eight months period decreased 5% YOY to 69.4 mln passengers, out of which Moscow Aviation Cluster served 53.5 mln, up 2%. MAC’s growth driver was domestic traffic, it increased 16%, whereas international flow fell 9%. Now MAC’s traffic is divided equally between domestic and international destinations, which is a rare occurrence, Bukalova notes.

Domestic traffic growth is explained in part by Moscow’s transit potential, which bloats as airlines, both Russian and foreign, close direct flights to international destinations from Russian regions. Share of transit passengers in Domodedovo grew to 19% (against 14% in 2014).

At the same time regional airports’ traffic fell 22%, on both domestic and international destinations. The trend is expected to continue and exceed 30% in some airports.

Domodedovo’s expert is optimistic about the airport’s traffic dynamics in the short term. However, she expects a “complicated” winter, due to the processes associated with Transaero’s black-out. Transaero’s passenger’s will be distributed among other airlines, Bukalova forecasts, so even though Russia’s second largest carrier was also one of the base airlines for Domodedovo, the airport won’t loose traffic.

There are several strong airlines at the airport, which have capabilities to grow frequencies and capacities, and have similar route networks, so passengers are unlikely to see the difference,” she says.

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