20 Jul 2023 14:01

Russian airlines boost passenger traffic 18% in H1

MOSCOW. July 20 (Interfax) - Russian airlines carried 47.5 million passengers in H1 2023, up 18% year-on-year, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said at a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and cabinet ministers on Wednesday evening.

"Despite the closure of 11 airports [in the central and southern regions of Russia], we had already transported 1 million passengers more than planned by that date. Total passenger traffic for the half year amounted to 47.5 million passengers, which is almost 18% higher than the level for the same period last year," Savelyev said.

The state aviation industry development program says airlines are supposed to carry 101.2 million people in 2023 as a whole, he said.

"Judging by load, we will transport more than 100 million passengers this year and will fulfill the plan, even despite the closure of the 11 airports in Russia. If these airports were to open, we would be transporting about 120 million passengers, which is comparable, for example, with 2019, when there were no restrictions when and we flew around the whole world," Savelyev said, recalling that passenger traffic in 2019 amounted to 128 million.

The head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko, said earlier in July that passenger traffic could return to the pre-sanctions level in 2023. This figure was 111 million people in 2021. It dropped to 95.2 million in 2022 as sanctions were imposed against Russian aviation.