Domestic air travel in Russia may fully return to pre-crisis levels by mid-spring 2021. RT was told about this in the Association of Air Transport Agencies. Experts associate the restoration of passenger traffic with the weakening of quarantine restrictions in the regions, as well as a noticeable decrease in the cost of air tickets. In addition, experts note the positive impact of state support for carriers and the cashback program for trips around the country.
Russian air transportation recovered 60% from the pre-crisis indicators of 2019. Specialists of the Association of Air Transport Agencies (AAVT) told RT about this.
“If we talk only about domestic air transportation, then their volume is already 80% of the level of 2019. At the same time, as the May holidays approach, the indicator will begin to grow noticeably, and thus by mid-spring it will reach 100%, “AAVT CEO Sergey Demidenko said in an interview with RT.
According to him, the situation with international traffic remains uncertain and will depend on the pace of resumption of passenger flights between Russia and other countries. The process will be accelerated by mass vaccination of the population against coronavirus, the expert is sure.
Meanwhile, it is precisely the limited international air traffic that has become one of the reasons for the high demand for travel within the country. Alexey Teplov, director of marketing for travel planning service OneTwoTrip, told RT about this.
“In January 2021, 96% of all flight bookings were made to Russian destinations, while a year ago this figure was 82%. At the same time, some cities have become much more in demand. For example, people are interested in flights to St. Petersburg almost twice as often, the demand for trips to Sochi and Kazan has also almost doubled, and to Mineralnye Vody – by 30%, “Teplov said.
According to the travel service Tutu.ru, in January 2021 the number of air ticket bookings in Russia increased by more than 20% compared to the same period in 2020. The company’s specialists associate the positive dynamics of domestic air transportation with the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions in the regions.
“The growing desire of people to go on holidays to relax or visit relatives, as well as a noticeable decrease in the cost of air tickets by companies to attract passengers, also played a role. So, over the past year, the size of the average check for a one-way flight in Russia has decreased by 11%, “Olga Epikhina, head of the Air tickets department, told RT to RT.
OneTwoTrip specialists record a similar price dynamics. According to the service’s estimates, over the year, the average cost of an air ticket in Russia dropped by 10% – to 4.7 thousand rubles.
To a certain extent, measures of state support for the industry influenced the reduction in airfare. So, in the spring of 2020, against the backdrop of a pandemic, the government allocated subsidies to airlines totaling 23.4 billion rubles. The money should partially compensate for the losses that carriers suffered from February to November last year.
“The funds received can be spent on salaries for aviation personnel (at least 60% of the total amount of the subsidy), lease payments (no more than 30% of the total amount), payment for aircraft parking (no more than 10% of the total amount), as well as on the operating room. activity and maintenance of property, ”the government decree says.
As Aleksey Teplov noted, additional support for passenger air transportation was provided by the actions of the authorities to stimulate domestic tourism. First of all, we are talking about launching a cashback program for trips across Russia.
Recall that from August 21 to 28, Russians could receive compensation in the amount of 20% of the funds spent (but not more than 15 thousand rubles) for paying for trips around the country lasting at least four nights and not less than 25 thousand rubles. The authorities later extended the initiative. It was possible to purchase tours with cashback from October 15 to December 5, and go on a trip until January 10, 2021.
At the same time, the conditions for the second stage of the program were significantly expanded. Thus, the duration of the trip had to be at least two nights, and the minimum cost of the ticket was no longer limited. In turn, the maximum return increased to 20 thousand rubles.
In total, within the framework of the tourist cashback program, Russians purchased tours for 6.5 billion rubles. At the same time, the total amount of funds returned was 1.2 billion rubles.
It is noteworthy that in 2021, on the eve of the spring-summer period, the third stage of the cashback program may start. As a result, Russians will have the opportunity to travel on favorable terms during the holiday season. The vice-president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Dmitry Gorin told RT about this.
“It is already known that the key elements of the program will remain the same: this is a cashback of 20% of the funds spent, but not more than 20 thousand rubles from one tour package. The minimum tour duration will also be two days, and the number of tour packages is unlimited. Moreover, we look forward to