Aeroflot's Passenger Traffic Falls Faster In March

Russia's Aeroflot saw the rate of decline in its passenger numbers increase in March, but managed to outperform Russia's airline industry as a whole by a wide margin in the first quarter, it said on Thursday.

The state-controlled airline carried 13.4 percent fewer passengers in the first quarter of 2009 than in the same period of 2008, a sign of continuing weakness in consumer spending.

But the industry's overall decline was much sharper, with passenger traffic falling 21.4 percent in the first quarter to 7.46 million, according to the Transport Clearing House, a Russian industry watchdog.

In March, however, the decline in Aeroflot's passenger numbers accelerated, falling 16.5 percent year-on-year compared to 15.8 percent in February, the airline said in a statement.

Russian officials forecast that air travel could fall by around 20 percent this year due to the financial crisis.

Analysts look at air travel as a sign of whether consumers are confident enough in the future to spend their income now rather than squirrel it away.

With the global financial crisis weighing on Russia's economy, the public has been hit with rising unemployment and swelling wage arrears, forcing many to reign in spending even on basic needs.

Only 60.7 percent of Aeroflot's seats were filled last month, 8.1 percent less than in March of the previous year, it said. For the whole first quarter, Aeroflot flew 1.78 million passengers and filled 61.3 percent of its seats.

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented