Network, Traffic Rights and Alliances
Main Aeroflot Group’s route network development priorities
- improving the ease of travel to and from Russia’s regions
- improving customer experience for non-stop flights and point-to-point passangers
- optimising connections on intercontinental (Asia–Europe, North America–Middle and Far East), and inter-regional routes (Russian Far East/Urals–Centre/South)
- launching new destinations in major markets with high transfer traffic potential
- further development of the hub at Sheremetyevo airport
Aeroflot Group’s route network development 1
The route network development is built around gradual flight frequency increase for the most popular destinations and connectivity improvement through banking of scheduled flights at Aeroflot’s hub, Sheremetyevo airport, thus enhancing customer experience. Launch or new destinations is based on the analysis of demand, competition and economic feasibility in terms of both point-to-point traffic and network synergies from connecting traffic.
The Company also considers the long-term development potential of the new markets, including for higher future flight frequency.
Number of Aeroflot Group’s routes
Note.. In 2018, the Group’s airlines also carried out scheduled flights on 30 domestic routes between the cities that hosted the 2018 World Cup to service increased inter-city demand.
Aeroflot airline’s route network development
The number of Aeroflot airline’s scheduled flights grew by 7.0% year-on-year in 2019 due to the increase in capacity on the most popular routes and the launch of new destinations.
- The highest growth, 13.2%, was for the Middle East destinations, due to increased frequencies of flights to Turkey’s cities, as well as Dubai, Beirut and Cairo
- European destinations saw the number of scheduled flights increase by 6.9% driven by the launch of service to Marseille and Palma de Mallorca, and higher flight frequency to some destinations, including Lyon, Tenerife, Brussels, Dublin, Bucharest and a number of others
- The number of scheduled flights to the CIS remained flat year-on-year. The increased number of flights for some destinations, including cities in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, was offset by suspention of flights to Georgia following the decision of regulation authorities
- The number of scheduled flights to Southeast Asia was up 5.9%, including due to the higher frequency of flights to Seoul and other destinations
- The number of scheduled flights to North and Central America was down 4.4% due to the changes to the Moscow–New York flight frequency in the winter schedule (the number of flights down from three to two per day)
- Domestic destinations saw the number of scheduled flights increase by 7.9% driven by the launch of a large number of new destinations during the winter 2018/2019 season, including to the North Caucasus cities (Vladikavkaz, Grozny, Makhachkala, Nazran and Nalchik) and to Izhevsk and Ulyanovsk, which continued to run throughout the year in 2019
Number of Aeroflot airline’s routes
Note.. In 2018, in order to service increased inter-city demand Aeroflot airline also carried out scheduled flights on five domestic routes between the cities that hosted the 2018 World Cup.
The connectivity ratio for Aeroflot airline’s own flights improved from 22.0 in 2018 to 23.6 in 2019.
Subsidiary airlines’ route network development
Rossiya airline operated scheduled services on 89 routes (48 domestic and 41 international) to 21 countries in 2019, including 62 routes under PJSC Aeroflot’s commercial management.
In 2019, the Group made a decision to reduce Rossiya’s flights by narrow-body aircraft in preparation for intra-group redeployment of its Boeing 737-800 fleet. Rossiya continues to develop traffic from Pulkovo, its original base airport and a regional transport hub servicing the North-West of Russia. Rossiya’s long-haul flights use Sheremetyevo airport (mostly flat fare flights to the Russian Far East) while its charter programme is operated from Vnukovo airport. Development of Rossiya’s leisure route network from many Russian regions is supported by the airline’s cooperation with Biblio Globus, one of Russia’s leading tour operators.
Aurora airline operated scheduled service on 45 routes (32 domestic and 13 international) to four countries in 2019, including 21 routes under PJSC Aeroflot’s commercial management.
Aurora’s priority is improving ease of travel and accommodating the demand for flights for the Russian Far East, Yakutsk and such major Siberian cities as Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk. Aurora also operates international flights from Khabarovsk, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to South Korea, China and Japan. The airline also operates socially important local flights in the Sakhalin Region and the Primorye Territory.
In 2019, Aurora continued to carry out local flights connecting regional capitals with remote destinations. It had scheduled flights for 17 such routes. Additionally, it operated charter flights to remote Russian Far East destinations.
Rossiya launched scheduled flights from Khabarovsk to Yakutsk and socially important flights from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Nogliki and Shakhtyorsk. The airline also strengthened its position in the international air travel market by launching flights from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Tokyo and from Vladivostok to Mudanjiang, and increasing flight frequency from Vladivostok to Harbin, Busan, Tokio, and from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Khabarovsk to Seoul.
Aurora’s scheduled local routes in 2019
Pobeda is based at Vnukovo airport in Moscow and also operates flights from a number of regional airports in Russia. Pobeda operated 126 routes in 2019, 71 of which were unique and complemented the Group’s route network.
The airline prioritises servicing sizable markets and launching routes not covered by other airlines within the Group. Pobeda also actively develops regional network, i.e. flights between Russia’s major cities, as well as the most popular international markets via opening services to secondary airports.
Pobeda airline’s routes in 2019
Aeroflot Group takes advantage of Russia’s beneficial geographical position to pick up passenger traffic between Europe and Asia and from other O&D markets. The bulk of the Group’s transfer traffic is handled by Aeroflot airline.
Total Aeroflot airline’s 2019 transfer traffic was up 2.1% year-on-year to 14.7 million passengers. Transfer passengers accounted for 40.0% of Aeroflot airline’s 2019 total passenger traffic (vs 40.7% in 2018).
A major part of the transfer traffic was between Russia and other countries, accounting for 15.4% of Aeroflot airline’s total passenger traffic.
The share of international transfer went up to 14.3%. International transfer gives Aeroflot Group an additional revenue stream from international markets and global passenger traffic. Domestic transfer traffic was 10.3%.
An additional contribution to transfer traffic comes from Rossiya airline, because its scheduled flights from Moscow are operated from Sheremetyevo airport and because it has a number of international destinations, including to Indonesia (Denpasar) and Sri Lanka (Colombo). With one of Aeroflot Group’s strategy focus areas being international transfer development, Aeroflot airline and Rossiya airline carried 5.5 million passengers between international O&D points with a connection in Moscow in 2019.
Share of transfer passengers in Aeroflot airline’s total passenger traffic, %
Aeroflot airline’s key international transfer routes in 2019
Developing the route network and increasing flight frequencies: traffic rights and designations
The Group works with regulators on an ongoing basis to obtain traffic rights and designations to launch new routes and increase flight frequencies for existing ones, thus driving its strategic development. The Federal Air Transport Agency issued the following traffic rights to PJSC Aeroflot and the subsidiaries under its commercial management in 2019.
In 2019, Aeroflot airline waived three traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Kos, Nha Trang, Urumqi. Four traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Barcelona and Goa and from Saint Petersburg to Milan and Rome were handed over to Rossiya airline.
Rossiya waived six traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger service from Moscow and Sochi to Yerevan, from Saint Petersburg to Almaty, Astana, Dubai and Yerevan. Two traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger service, from Moscow to Salzburg (inherited from Transaero) and from Saint Petersburg to Baku were withdrawn due to absence of air service.
Following the decision by the Inter-Agency Commission on Licensing Carriers not to renew Transaero’s traffic rights for the winter 2019/2020 season, in August 2019 Aeroflot airline and Rossiya airline were voted on a non-preferential basis to receive almost all of Transaero’s traffic rights (with the exception of Rossiya’s traffic right for the Moscow–Paris (Orly) route) with no expiry date.
As a result of Aeroflot’s joint effort with the Department of State Policy in Civil Aviation of the Russian Ministry of Transport, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed PJSC Aeroflot as a scheduled flights operator for the Moscow–Mumbai route.
- 14 new traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Aktau, Alicante, Almaty, Atyrau, Goa, Mumbai, Osaka, Paphos, Rimini, Shymkent; from Krasnoyarsk to Beijing and Sanya; from Saint Petersburg to Rome
- 21 additional traffic rights to increase the frequencies of international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Aktobe, Bangkok, Barcelona, Bologna, Bukhara, Geneva, Heraklion, Karaganda, Larnaca, Lyon, Ljubljana, Malaga, Milan, Nur-Sultan, Palma de Mallorca, Beijing, Phuket, Rome, Tashkent, Tel Aviv, Urumqi
- 1 new traffic right to operate international charter passenger services from Moscow to Grenoble
- 8 new traffic rights to operate international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Antalya, Bangkok, Barcelona, Dubai, Heraklion, Larnaca, Paphos, Phuket
- 8 additional traffic rights to increase the frequencies of international scheduled passenger services from Moscow to Bangkok, Goa, Prague, from Saint Petersburg to Milan, Prague, Rome, Tashkent
- 7 new traffic rights to operate international charter passenger services from Moscow to Barcelona, Burgas and Varna, from Saint Petersburg to Burgas, Varna and Barcelona, from Yekaterinburg to Barcelona
- 1 new traffic right to operate international scheduled passenger service from Khabarovsk to Tokyo (Narita)
- 1 additional traffic right to increase the frequency of international scheduled passenger services from Khabarovsk to Seoul offset by a decrease in frequency of service from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Seoul
Codeshare and interline agreements
Codeshare agreements enable Aeroflot Group to strengthen its presence in high-potential markets, enter the markets where barriers otherwise exist, and use its aircraft fleet more efficiently.
PJSC Aeroflot’s major partners by volume of business generated through codeshare agreements in 2019 were Alitalia, Air France, Air Europa, Finnair and KLM, and Aeroflot Group’s airlines and Siberia Airlines among Russian carriers.
In 2019, Aeroflot began codeshare flights with Vietnam Airlines on the Moscow–Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh–Cam Ranh/Phu Quoc and Moscow–Saint Petersburg/Ufa/Krasnodar routes. Codeshare flights with Czech Airlines on the Moscow–Prague route were renewed. Cooperation was expanded to new destinations under codeshare agreements with Air Europa, Aerovias de Mexico, LOT-Polish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Bangkok Airways.
As at the end of 2019, PJSC Aeroflot had interline agreements with 134 carriers, including five Russian carriers and five CIS-based airlines.
Membership in the SkyTeam Alliance
The new model aims to reflect the interests and priorities of the key members of the alliance, ensure compliance with membership requirements, simplify the decision-making process and optimise the costs of attending regular meetings.
A new SkyTeam alliance agreement came into effect in early 2019, setting forth a revised organisational structure of the alliance. Under the agreement, the central governing body of the Alliance will be the executive board that has permanent membership from the Alliance’s six largest carriers: Aeroflot, Air France, KLM, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air. The other partners will participate in the decision-making process indirectly, voting through proxies appointed out of the member airlines and rotating every two years.
In 2019, SkyTeam worked towards an ambitious goal to become a trendsetter in IT technology for other airlines by building a unique Digital Spine solution that would bridge technology differences between GDS systems and take flying across multiple SkyTeam members to a new level.
The Digital Spine will make it possible to:
- seamlessly book ancillary services and seats from partners’ websites
- check in passengers and baggage all the way to the final destination
- inform passengers, change partner airline’s booking and modify baggage itinerary in case of service disruption
- fully automate earning and redeeming qualifying miles, elite status confirmation and offering status privileges with any carrier connected to the platform.
SkyTeam Alliance had 19 members in 2019, Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. China Southern Airlines left SkyTeam in 2019. The Alliance’s aggregate route network comprised 1,150 destinations in 175 countries. SkyTeam’s members, including Aeroflot airline, were making a total of 14,500 flights on a daily basis.
As a SkyTeam partner, Aeroflot carried over 480 thousand passengers under codeshare and interline agreements with other SkyTeam Alliance members in 2019. About 249 thousand Aeroflot passengers were carried by its SkyTeam partners.