Published on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) has indicated that business jet flights to, from and inside Russia dropped by 12 percent, however the passenger counts fell 23 percent, since the chill in East-West relations began in 2014. Alexander Kuleshov, chairman of RUBAA presented the data at Business Aviation Forum held in Moscow.
“According to industry professionals and experts, these destinations together generate approximately 80 percent of all Russian business aviation traffic,” Kuleshov said. The data is collected from seven major Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-upon-Don, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod and Sochi. Speaking to the industry professionals and officials, RUBAA concluded that the air traffic at these cities is a fair indicator of what is going on in the whole of the Russian business aviation industry.
The number of business jet flights decreased from more than 50,000 in 2014 to 43,878 the following year and 41,415 in 2016 according to RUBAA. The number of travelers on those flights also dropped, from more than 160,000 down to 141,000 in 2015 and nearly 130,000 in 2016. In the first four months of this year, nearly 10,000 flights with 38,603 travelers on them were recorded.
With a detailed comparison of the flight numbers on year-to-year basis, RUBAA acknowledged the continuing downward trend: -13 percent in 2015; -18 percent, 2016 versus 2014.
An analysis of international business jet traffic in and out of Russia is based on the following figures: 27,399 flights in 2014; 22,906 in 2015; 20,014 in 2016 and 6,492 in the first four months of this year. In relative terms, the decrease to the 2014 level was -17 percent, -27 percent and -25 percent, respectively. The only glimmer of hope here is that the absolute figures for the first four months of the current year are a bit higher than those of a year ago.
The domestic traffic also dropped at lower rates, with 12,366; 11,142; and 10,842 flights in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. The first quarter of 2017 saw 3,165 flights.
An important and continuing trend in Russian business aviation traffic has been a steadily decreasing share of foreign operators. While the drop in the traffic is estimated at -19 percent, -31 percent and -32 percent over 2015, 2016 and the first four months of 2017, respectively, the local air companies have been making more flights, with their flights up 8 percent, 24 percent and 30 percent over that same span.