January proves better than December for Russia’s airlines

Total traffic was 38 per cent down Y-on-Y, private S7 Airlines still leads the market

According to the preliminary report by Russian civil aviation authority Rosaviatsiya, in January 2021 the country’s airlines carried collectively 5.5 million passengers, down 38 per cent on the same period of last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Russian market. Thus, January trend proved somewhat better than the last December 43 per cent drop.

However, the RPKs negative dynamic remains in place. The indicator is still less than a half than that of the pre-crisis levels. In January it was 11.23 billion RPKs, down 53 per cent on the same month in 2020, reflecting the largely depressed international travel.

Privately-owned S7 Airlines continues to lead the market. Its January traffic of 1.19 million passengers showed a moderate 13 per cent drop year-on-year. It is followed by Aeroflot Group’s two airlines: flag carrier Aeroflot served 1.04 million passengers, down 60 per cent on January 2020. Its low-cost division Pobeda Airlines was the only airline in the TOP-5 elite, which managed to stay level with last year’s operational results with 928,000 passengers. The fourth is Ural Airlines, another privately-run carrier, which served 406,000 passengers, a 41 per cent decrease on January 2020. The TOP-5 ranking is closed off by Rossiya Airlines (a member of Aeroflot Group), which has started the process of accepting Russian-made regional jets Superjet 100s from Aeroflot, and thus replacing its larger sibling on a number of regional routes, carried 391,000 passengers, down 31 per cent year-on-year.

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