The industry predicts a reduction in the number of flights in the summer season
Air carriers have applied to the Ministry of Transport with a request to provide new state support measures. Earlier, the ministry warned of a 15-30% rise in airfare in the summer season and a reduction in the number of flights. All due to the fact that the authorities have not yet approved subsidies for transportation. Meanwhile, this year the state, in addition to air transportation, has more serious problems, because of which the government has not yet agreed on the provision of funds and other support measures for carriers. Will they help companies and how will the prices for air tickets change?
In 2022, the state helped airlines with money. Carriers received about 100 billion rubles and were able to prevent an increase in airfare. This season is different.
The decrease in the volume of state subsidies for airlines in 2023 has already led to a reduction in the number of flights, said Vladimir Poteshin, deputy head of the Federal Air Transport Agency. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport predicts an increase in the cost of air tickets by 15-30% due to the lack of a decision by the authorities to subsidize transportation this summer. If there is no financial support, consumers will have to fork out.
The budget has a record deficit due to sanctions and a reduction in export earnings from the sale of energy resources. There are enough problems, and therefore funds are needed to solve them, says Ivan Samoylenko, managing partner of the B&C Agency communications agency.
“Air travel within the country has always been subsidized, since the bulk of the profits come from flights abroad. But they have been significantly reduced due to sanctions from European countries, while the most popular flights – to the south of Russia – are limited, because. airports have been closed in many cities for more than a year,” he says. – There are difficulties with servicing imported aircraft (foreign companies left the Russian Federation), airlines said that they were forced to “cannibalize” part of the fleet (that is, some aircraft are disassembled to replace the necessary spare parts in other liners).
According to Samoylenko, air tickets will rise in price: air travel is a sector that is highly dependent on imports, and not everything can be replaced yet. This situation leads to an increase in the costs of air carriers.
“They will be forced to raise the cost of tickets (on average, the price may rise by 20% compared to last year), the expert believes. – But gradually the problems will be solved – this is unlikely to radically change the situation with the cost of tickets (tickets will rise in price, if only because of high demand during the summer holidays), but the state will find funds for air carriers. This is necessary to support the industry and stimulate passenger traffic within the country.”
Flights should not rise much in price, says Pavel Sigal, First Vice President of Opora Rossii.
“Fuel prices, which make up the bulk of ticket prices, are holding steady. Due to the increased demand for domestic tourism, competition between companies is growing, respectively, they offer discounters, loyalty programs, he emphasizes. – On the eve of the summer season, the holiday season, we can advise you to take tickets in advance, choose the dates on which you will fly. Then the tickets will cost much cheaper than buying them back to back.
Meanwhile, according to the editor-in-chief of the Avia.ru portal Roman Gusarov, air ticket prices will increase by 10-15% on average per year if no global geopolitical upheavals will occur.
If we talk about the approaching May weekend, then there has not been a sharp rise in the price of flights either.
“Most of the tickets for the May weekend have already been sold out. Consumers mostly buy tickets in advance, not at the last moment. Because people understand that if they want to fly somewhere for the May holidays, they will have to resolve the issue in advance. Otherwise, either the trip may fail, or you will have to pay a large amount for tickets. But even in this case, the tariff will be more expensive, for example, twice, but not five times. The latest flight tickets have always been more expensive, and those who decide to fly “on the flag” have to pay extra,” he concludes.