Sheremetyevo Airport stretches the lead over its Moscow competitors

Passenger traffic at Sheremetyevo Airport increased both on domestic and international routes Passenger traffic at Sheremetyevo Airport increased both on domestic and international routes (Photo by Sheremetyevo Airport)

In the first four months of 2016, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport stretched its lead, in terms of passenger flow, over other air gateways of the Moscow Air Hub (MAH), which includes airports Domodedovo and Vnukovo. According to the data published by the Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA), only Sheremetyevo Airport succeeded in increasing the number of passengers served from January through April 2016: this figure grew from 8.658 million to 9.454 million persons (a 9.2% increase).

In the same period of time, the passenger flow at Domodedovo fell by 3%. As of the end of April 2016, this air gateway served 7.627 million passengers, whereas, in the same period of 2015, this figure amounted to 7.860 million passengers. At Vnukovo Airport, the passenger flow fell by a quarter and amounted to 3.163 million passengers.  From January through April 2015, the airport served 4.218 million passengers.

In total, the passenger traffic through the MAH in January-April decreased by 2.4%, amounting to 20.244 million persons. The traffic on international routes decreased by 14.8%, which corresponds to the current trend. At the same time, the foreign airlines’ passenger traffic on international air routes fell by 7.5%, with 2.550 million persons from the beginning of 2016. The passenger flow increase by 9.8% was observed on domestic routes.

In April, Sheremetyevo’s traffic volume also experienced growth, with 2.553 million passengers served versus 2.333 million passengers year-on-year (an increase of 9.4%; according to the airport’s own data the traffic amounted to 9.541 million passengers and showed a 9.3% increase). The upward trend was also observed on international air routes (an increase of 5.4%). At the same time, in April, the passenger flow at Domodedovo and at Vnukovo fell by 11.5% and 23.7%, respectively. The former air gateway served 1.896 million passengers versus 2.142 million passengers year-on-year, while the air traffic at Vnukovo Airport fell down to 0.929 million passengers versus 1.217 million passengers in the same period of 2015.

Sheremetyevo Airport’s spokesperson explained that the passenger traffic growth on international air routes by an extensive route network offered by its base carrier, Aeroflot, as well as by the opening of new destinations and a considerable demand for regular flights on popular routes. In January-April 2016, the most popular foreign destinations included Paris, Prague, Bangkok, Tel-Aviv and Beijing, according to the airport’s data.

In the 1st quarter of 2016, according to Sheremetyevo’s data, the airport’s passenger flow increased 9.2% to 6.965 million passengers. The FATA estimated the traffic growth at 9.1%, and passengers served at 6.901 million. The number of passengers served at Domodedovo increased then only by 0.2%, up to 5.7 million passengers; at Vnukovo, this figure fell by 25.4%, down to 2.234 million passengers.  Domodedovo’s analysts point out that passenger flow recovery at Russia’s airports should be expected in 2017, with a forecasted gain of 4.8% per year. The recovery can take place thanks to Russia’s tourist infrastructure development and economic growth, development of new markets and a possible lift of flight restrictions (such as bans on air services to Ukraine and to Egypt, and a partial ban on flights to Turkey).

In parallel, the total passenger flow of Russian airlines is shrinking. From January through April 2016, it fell by 3.8%, down to 22.486 million persons. The traffic volume on international routes dropped by 22.9%, down to 7.813 million passengers. By contrast, the traffic on domestic routes increased by 10.9%, up to 14.673 million passengers.

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