Rossiya, Pulkovo Enjoy Bigger Passenger Quotas

Rossiya, Pulkovo Enjoy Bigger Passenger Quotas

Rossiya Airlines hopes to reach a passenger volume of five million people next year.

Published: December 12, 2012 (Issue # 1739)

The St. Petersburg-based Rossiya Airlines honored its four millionth passenger of the year last week in St. Petersburg.

While it turned out to be a pleasant surprise for city resident Natalya Grishanova, who happened to be the lucky passenger, it was also a milestone for the airline itself, since it is the first time Rossiya has achieved this threshold.

Last year the airline carried 3.5 million passengers.

Dmitry Zvonaryov, Rossiya’s deputy general commercial director, said the company had seen a 17-percent increase in passenger volumes this year.

Zvonaryov said the factors that influenced this growth included the company’s adoption of new quality standards, the merger with Aeroflot, Russia’s leading airline, and an increase in demand for flights among Russians.

“This year, Russia’s airlines are expected to carry a combined total of about 70 million passengers. This figure indicates that more and more people want to fly, be it for business or vacation,” Zvonaryov said.

Zvonaryov said Rossiya currently services 40 percent of passenger transportation at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport, adding that the company hopes “to serve every second passenger in Pulkovo airport soon” and to reach a passenger volume of five million people next year. Pulkovo airport recently honored its 10 millionth passenger this year.

Next year, Rossiya plans to launch flights to the city of Syktyvkar in Russia’s Komi republic, as well as to new destinations in Spain and Greece.

“Our aim is to offer our passengers interesting new destinations, lower prices for tickets and more sophisticated technology,” Zvonaryov said.

“We’re planning not only to widen the geography of our flights but also to increase the frequency of flights,” he added.

Zvonaryov said that the airline had, however, once again been obliged to temporarily suspend flights to London for the fall-winter season.

“It takes so much time and effort for many people, sometimes up to one or even one and a half months, to get a visa to Great Britain that we have noticed a significant drop in passenger volume on our flights to London,” he said. “So we’ve suspended the flight to see if the situation improves. So many things have a knock-on effect on the travel market. For instance, when Israel and Russia introduced a no-visa regime [in Sept. 2008] we witnessed a significant increase in travel to Israel,” he said.

Grishanova, an IT engineer by profession, said it was “a very pleasant surprise” for her to become Rossiya’s four millionth passenger. Grishanova, who was given presents by Rossiya Airlines, including two tickets to any destination, said it was the first time this year she had flown.

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