Aeroflot’s North America network analysed; New York #1, but where do people connect from Miami?
Aeroflot is the second-largest airline between Central and Eastern Europe and North America, after LOT Polish Airlines, data by OAG shows.
The Russian airline had just over one million seats between Moscow Sheremetyevo and North America last year, up by a very strong CAGR of 11.4% since 2010.
Yet the carrier’s North America operation represented just 1.8% of its total seats last year and 3.5% of its international seats from Moscow Sheremetyevo.
Aeroflot’s North America network now comprises the US destinations of New York JFK, Washington Dulles, Miami, and Los Angeles. Toronto, its sole destination in Canada, ended back in 2013.
New York by far #1; benefited from exit of others
New York JFK is, not surprisingly, by far Aeroflot’s number-one US destination, with 665,000 seats last year.
Aeroflot is the sole operator between New York and Moscow after fellow SkyTeam member Delta ended JFK – Sheremetyevo in 2017 and Transaero ceased JFK – Vnukovo in 2015 (before that, Transaero served Domodedovo).
The end of Delta accounts for Aeroflot’s strong increase in JFK and Aeroflot’s total North America seats in 2017. JFK rose to 64% of the Russian operator’s total North America capacity, down from 67% at the start of the decade from then-new Miami service and strong Los Angeles growth.
Aeroflot had a three-daily JFK summer service last year, two by 402-seat B777-300ERs and the third by 296-seat A330-300s. JFK tends to reduce to twice-daily in winter.
Coronavirus has, of course, changed this, with sub-daily service at present, rising to twice-daily, both by B777-300ERs, from September.
Miami had 10% of seats…
Miami, introduced in 2012, had a 10% share of Aeroflot’s North America seats last year, with capacity on this route doubling in the past few years from higher weekly frequencies.
Operating year-round, Miami’s summer frequencies are typically four-weekly, rising to five-weekly during the winter.
Sheremetyevo – Miami is normally served by low-density 229-seat A330-200s, but it will change to 316-seat A350-900s from this October.
Despite 87 extra seats per departure, its weekly frequency, at least this coming winter, will remain five-weekly.
… but above-average SLF
Moscow Sheremetyevo – Miami had 106,043 seats last year.
And with 88,646 passengers, according to OAG Traffic Analyser, Aeroflot achieved an estimated seat load factor of 84% on Miami, above the airline’s system average.
With no real partner at the Florida airport, it is not surprising that Miami revolves around local traffic (~41% of total passengers) and Aeroflot traffic over Sheremetyevo (~55%).
Tel Aviv tops Miami’s connections table
As mentioned above, ~55% of Aeroflot’s Miami passengers connected over Sheremetyevo last year, equivalent to over 48,000 passengers.
Central and Eastern Europe generated an estimated 22,000 connecting passengers, of which Russia was – of course – number-one, with nearly 15,500.
Yet Miami – Tel Aviv was the number-one O&D, although only with 4,000 passengers. This indicates that, as is often the case, connecting traffic comprises a good quantity of small-volume O&Ds.
In comparison, over 44,000 connected to/from Yerevan on its Los Angeles – Sheremetyevo service last year because of the 200,000+ Armenian population in LA. This was eight times more than second-placed Tel Aviv.
Miami – Tel Aviv, the fourth-largest US city-pair market from Israel, had almost 150,000 passengers across all airlines last year, OAG data shows, including El Al non-stop.
Aeroflot was a small player in connecting traffic, behind Iberia, with circuity of just 11% via Sheremetyevo.
|Top-10 O&Ds over Sheremetyevo: Miami to/from…||Estimated passengers (two ways)|
|Source: OAG Traffic Analyser using MIDT data.|
Crucially, Miami had a strong average fare too
Interestingly, Miami also had Aeroflot’s highest local fare last year, at an average of $634 one-way excluding taxes, 20-30% on top in fuel surcharges, and any ancillaries.
This was higher on an absolute basis than New York ($462), Washington ($382), and Los Angeles ($617).
It was also higher when adjusted for distance (average fare/miles) too:
- Miami: $0.111
- Los Angeles: $0.102
- New York JFK: $0.099
- Washington Dulles: $0.078
Miami achieved 11.1 cents per mile each way, which was 41% higher than Washington’s 7.8 cents, far outstripping Miami’s 18% longer distance. This suggests a stronger premium mix for the Florida airport.
JFK achieved a one-quarter higher fare-per-mile than Dulles, despite Dulles being 4% longer.
This, together with Aeroflot’s Dulles route almost not growing since 2015, with its share of North America seats almost halving to just 4%, clearly implies underperformance and that it may be retained for more than commercial reasons.