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Aeroflot Says It Has Sufficient Aircraft for International Operations

Aeroflot has sufficient aircraft for international operations, said the Russian airline, as it resumed service to Goa last week. This is good news for Goa, which has been a favourite destination for Russians escaping the harsh winter in their country. This year, however, the demand for travel to India is low with many Russians preferring travel to Turkey or Thailand due to cheaper tour costs.

The liquidation of a Russian-state owned aircraft lessor and threat of seizure of its aircraft, too, are challenges. Aeroflot, however, says its flights to India continue to operate normally. Apart from Goa, it operates a daily service between Moscow and Delhi.

“Aeroflot’s fleet is sufficient for the smooth implementation of the planned flight programme in all international destinations. Services between Russia and India are operated with a high commercial load,” said Aeroflot. The airline’s statement comes amid a warning by the Russian civil aviation regulator against operating state-owned planes on overseas routes. The warning follows the liquidation of Russian-state owned aircraft lessor GTLK Europe DAC. Liquidators appointed by a Irish high court in May have written to various airports, including Delhi, to seize aircraft belonging to the company.


Threat of seizures aside, Russian carriers have also been subject of western sanctions. A number of routes and destinations they can fly are also limited due to airspace restrictions. According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, Aeroflot’s international schedule in October is 32 per cent of 2019, with 2,350 planned departures this month. Currently, the busiest international routes for the airline are Antalya, Istanbul (both Turkey), and Yerevan in Armenia.

“Travel options for Russians have become limited following the Ukraine operation. Goa remains a favourite destination. Demand is slightly lower compared to previous year because of payment challenges and tour costs. Hotels and air tickets to Goa are more expensive than Sri Lanka, Egypt or turkey,” said Naveen Rao, founder and CEO of Snetro Group, general sales and service agent for Aeroflot’s cargo division.

“From India there is little tourist traffic, but there is demand from corporates and students and government delegations. Overall we are seeing 70-80 per cent loads on Aeroflot flights between Russia and India,” he added. Charter flights from Israel, Kazakhstan and Russia are expected in Goa in October. Charter flights from UK to Goa will start in November.

Ten-fold growth

In the last winter schedule, Goa saw 10-fold growth in charter flights, compared to 2021. Goa airport handled around 350 international charter flights and received over 1.4 lakh tourists in the last winter schedule.

Source : Business Line