Sochi grows 201%; now Russia’s fifth-largest airport

Sochi grows 201%; now Russia’s fifth-largest airport

flydubai began Dubai to Sochi in 2018. Although not currently operating in winter 2020, it’ll return on a twice-weekly basis from 29 March.

Sochi is Russia’s fifth-largest airport by seats – and the country’s largest outside of Moscow and St Petersburg.

It had almost 7.4 million two-way seats in 2019, up by 201% over 2010; an increase of nearly five million seats and a CAGR of 11.6%.  

In the 2013-2019 period, Sochi recorded a CAGR of 15.5% and it had six consecutive years of double-digit growth.  This is despite the loss of over one million Transaero seats in 2015, although this was quickly backfilled by others.

Naturally, the airport revolves around Moscow and St Petersburg.  The five airports – Domodedovo, St. Petersburg, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, and Zhukovsky (outside of Moscow for bilateral purposes) – had over 4.8 million seats to/from Sochi, up by nearly 3.2 million over 2010.

Yet the proportion of Moscow/St Petersburg capacity reduced to 65% in pre-coronavirus 2019, down from 75% in 2016 and the lowest ever. 

This was influenced by Sochi’s route network growing 17% between 2017 and 2019 with a net increase of nine destinations, including Bryansk, Nur-Sultan, Pskov, and Riga

Read more: Moscow Domodedovo had more passengers in September than all of Norway.

Sochi grows 201%; now Russia’s fifth-largest airport

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

International capacity over half-a-million for first time at Sochi

Sochi’s domestic market was responsible for 94% of the airport’s capacity increase between 2010 and 2019, clearly mainly Moscow and St Petersburg.

Yet the airport’s international capacity passed 500,000 for the first time in 2019 (557,331), representing 8% of its seats.

Tel Aviv, Yerevan, Simferopol, Istanbul Airport, Tashkent, Minsk, Tbilisi, Dubai, Dushanbe, and Khujand were Sochi’s top international airport-pairs. Of course, Simferopol isn’t always considered international.

On a country basis, Turkey was overwhelmingly top with over 273,000 seats, more than five times greater than second-ranked Armenia.

Despite the ravages of coronavirus, multiple routes are in operation in winter 2020 that weren’t in W19. These include Belgorod, Makhachkala, Orenburg, Saransk, and Yaroslavl. 

Indeed, Sochi’s W20 network is up by 21% YOY.


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