Russia’s aviation authorities anticipate seven per cent traffic decline in 2024

Country’s passenger numbers may fall due to forced grounding of dozens of GTF-powered A320neos

Russian airlines' passenger drop S7 Airlines's Airbus aircraft in Moscow Domodedodvo airport

Russian airlines’ total traffic in 2024 may drop to 98.1 million passengers, Dmitry Yadrov, head of Russia’s civil aviation authority Rosaviatsiya warned earlier this week.

The figure is seven per cent below the 2023 result of 105.4 million passengers. However, it matches the forecast targets of latest version of the state-developed “Government program for the development of Russia’s commercial aviation industry until the year 2030.”

The document envisions further traffic decline in 2025 by 8.5 per cent to 89.8 million passengers. The government doesn’t anticipate the industry to start recovering until 2026, when locally built aircraft are expected to start being delivered in numbers.

This turn towards a more pessimistic outlook on the industry has taken shape just this year. Last year’s edit of the government program forecast 104.5 million passengers for 2024 and further climb to 105.6 million passengers in 2025.

The reasons are a delay in production of Russified versions of MC-21 and Superjet 100s and potential grownding of GTF-povered Airbus A320neos.

“The passenger traffic forecast depends on what S7 Airlines (Russia’s largest privately run airline and country’s second biggest carrier) wants to do with its aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, and how many of them will be withdrawn from service,” head of Rosaviatsiya added. A320neo family aircraft, equipped with PW1100G geared turbofan engines, make up around 40 per cent of S7 Airlines’ fleet.

A320neo aircraft operators around the globe are experiencing problems with these engines, however, the Russian airline is deprived of the manufacturer support as per the western sanctions.

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