Russian Airline and Airport Statistics 2008

The Russian commercial aviation sector continues to experience strong growth, with the country’s top 30 airlines carrying 10.8% more passengers in 2008 than in the previous year. They carried 46.5 million passengers during the 12-month period, representing around 93% of the total Russian market. The remaining traffic is split among the 140-plus niche operators providing commercial operations in many of the country’s more remote regions. The market continues to be dominated by just a small number of operators, with the top five – Aeroflot Russian Airlines, S7 Airlines, Transaero Airlines, Rossiya Airlines and UTair – carrying more than half of the total passengers. All five reported growth in 2008, despite the economic crisis, although rates varied dramatically from just 3.41% at S7 Airlines to 49.68% at Transaero, where a significant fleet and network expansion programme has resulted in increases in both domestic and international traffic.
The fastest-growing airline in the country in 2008 was KD-Avia, moving from 18th place to become the ninth largest operator following development of a mini-hub at its Kaliningrad/Khrabrovo Airport base. It handled over 1.36 million passengers, a whopping 109.56% increase over the previous year. Alongside Transaero and KD-Avia, budget carrier Sky Express, rebranded Orenburg-based operator Orenair and Aeroflot-Don Airlines also expanded by more than a third.
Most of the traffic in Russia – both domestic and international – passes through Moscow, with the facilities at Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo retaining the top three positions in terms of passenger movements. The growth of low-cost airlines like Sky Express and Red Wings has helped Vnukovo boost numbers by 16%, a rate of growth mirrored at Krasnador/Pashkovskya and Pulkovo. The latter, in Russia’s second largest city – St Petersburg – is the third largest airport in the country. In fact, all but one of Russia’s top 15 facilities reported a growth in traffic in 2008, the exception being Sochi’s Adler Airport, which recorded a 1.08% fall. The biggest increase was at Khrabrovo Airport, in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, where passenger numbers grew from 1.09 million to 1.87 million, a 70% rise.