Russian airline growth slows from over 20% to under 5%; S7 extends lead over Aeroflot in domestic market

Image: S7 Plane
S7 (Siberian Airways) has increased its lead in recent months over Aeroflot as Russia’s leading domestic airline.

Russia’s rapidly developing air transport industry grew by around 20% in 2007 and in the first five months of 2008 Russian airlines continued to report growth at that level. However, in the last three months growth has slowed, though in August total passenger numbers were still up 3.9% on the previous year.

The recent fatal crash of an Aeroflot Nord 737 and a ‘wheels-up’ landing by a KD-Avia 737 at Kaliningrad earlier this week may damage consumer confidence in Russian airline safety.

Chart: Russian airline development 2008
Source: TCH

Growth has been strongest since March on international routes, especially to non-CIS states. By the end of August some 34.7 million passengers had flown on Russian airlines at an average load factor of 74.1%.

Chart: Leading airports
Source: TCH

Moscow’s three airports and St Petersburg Pulkovo are by far the busiest Russian airports. All airports in Russia suffer from major seasonality issues with demand in the summer months almost twice as high as during the, often very harsh, winter season.

Chart: Leading Russian Domestic
Source: TCH

S7 (Siberian Airways) has increased its lead in recent months over Aeroflot as Russia’s leading domestic airline. SkyExpress, Russia’s first and so far only low-cost carrier, has ranked fifth for most of the year but has recently been overtaken by Krasnoyarsk Airlines and Kaliningrad-based KD Avia. On international routes Aeroflot remains the leading Russian airline ahead of Transaero and S7.


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