New Low-Cost Airline May Appear in Russia – Report

PHOTO by Alexander Kryazhev / RIA Novosti

A new low-cost airline may soon be launched in Russia in collaboration with unnamed foreign partners, the Kommersant newspaper reported Thursday.

Several sources in the air transit market confirmed that Russian businessmen are currently discussing this matter with a number of foreign low-cost companies such as Air Asia (Malaysia), Wizz Air (Hungary), Pegasus Airlines (Turkey) and others. This topic was also discussed with Russian Direct Investment Fund, but the organisation declined to comment.

According to the sources, the low-cost company will be established on the basis of existing Russian airline and will perform flights from major regional airports – in particular, from St. Petersburg Pulkovo airport.

"This would allow us to develop a route of regional network, bypassing Moscow and meet the local demand for cheap air transportation which is very limited today," one of the interlocutors of the newspaper said.

The news about a new low-cost airline emerged amid the growth of air passenger traffic in Russia. In January-April 2017, this indicator surged by almost 21% compared to the same period in 2016, reaching 27.1 million people.

As of today, "Pobeda" ("Victory") and S7 are the only low-cost airlines operating in Russia. "Pobeda" was established in September 2014 as part of Aeroflot group.

Last month, Russia's S7 carrier made it to the list of the top three European low-cost airlines.