Wondering how the Russian airline industry has been doing lately?
According to data made public by Russian portal aex.ru, quoting information
from the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (that, however, as I write
this post, is still showing data up to last November only), Russian
airlines carried a total of 84,564,353 passengers last year, a healthy
14,2% increase over the previous year!
And who is in the roll of honour of airlines?
In case you were wondering, here is the top 5 of the Russian airline
Pole position goes to flag carrier Aeroflot, of course, with 20,902,447
passengers (+18.4% up). Picture: Aeroflot
Transaero was second with 12,499,985 passengers, an increase of 21%
UTair, an airline that has been busy expanding and renovating its fleet was
third with 8,182,074 passengers (+5.3%). Picture: UTair
4) SIBIR ("S7")
Sibir, also known as S7, and member of the Oneworld Alliance was Russia's
fourth in the ranking of Russian airlines by number of passengers with
Rossiya (an Aeroflot subsidiary) was 5th, the St.Petersburg-based airline
carried 4,590,146 passengers, up 9.1% over the previous year. Picture:
What's in store for 2014?
It remains to be seen whether the Russian airline industry can continue to
sustain this double-digit rate of growth in view of the current perceived
stagnation of the domestic economy.
Another factor to take into account is the launch of low cost airlines in
the Russian market, if all goes according to plan Aeroflot's low cost
airline, Dobrolet, should be getting in the top five in due time, but most
likely not this year as it still has to start operations.
In any case, even if Ryanair, Easyjet and, maybe, Wizzair, are starting
operations in Russia, these are likely to be at a small scale in the short
to medium term, so it is unlikely it will affect traffic figures for the
At the other end of the country, the merger of Aeroflot's Far Eastern
subsidiaries to form Aurora Airlines is also unlikely to affect this
ranking as their goal of carrying 2.4M annual passengers would placee them
well below Rossiya in volume of passengers.