Turkish Airlines top foreign Russian carrier as exodus picks up pace

12/11/2015

Turkish Airlines Turkish Airlines has become Russia’s top foreign airline as its competitors continue to cut flights in the face of the slump in demand. Turkish Airlines has increased its services to Russia by 16% year-one-year while its rivals have cut flights to Russia by 43% over the same period. Last year’s top foreign carrier Lufthansa has reduced flights to Russia by 31%. British Airways and SAS AB have joined it in the exodus from Russia that was led by the UK’ s EasyJet.
The German carrier ceased flying to Moscow Vnukovo airport, Samara and Nizhny Novgorod with the start of its winter schedule, leaving it with 63 weekly flights to Moscow Domodedovo and St. Petersburg, down from 153 Russian destinations four years ago to nine today. SAS and Air Berlin Plc will exit Russia in the first quarter of 2016.
The rouble’s weakness has made trips abroad prohibitively expensive and led to the reduction of passenger flow to international destination and, many foreign air carriers — including the budget German airline Air Berlin, Britain’s EasyJet and Thai Airways International — have consequently quit the Russian market altogether.
“Turkish [Airlines]is very keen to build market share in Europe and Asia and won’t bear as much profitability pain given its lower costs,” said George Ferguson, Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst on aerospace, defence and airlines.

Source: Bloomberg