CEO: Aeroflot expects to carry 30 mln passengers in 2020
MOSCOW, Jul 6 (PRIME) -- Russian national flagship carrier Aeroflot expects its passenger traffic to recover by 50% to around 30 million passengers in 2020, CEO Vitaly Savelyev told †President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
УWe suppose that we will recover by 50% so that we carry around 30 million passengers this year,Ф he said.
The domestic passenger traffic is growing noticeably, Russians start flying again.
УIn April, traffic plummeted by 95%, and the seat occupancy was only at 33%. This was a dire situation for the company. It is a very small amount if we compare it to 2019, as we usually carry 110,000Ц120,000 people a day. But we see that significant growth is happening now, Russians start flying again, and it is very important for us,Ф he said.
The airline tries to keep staggered pattern of passenger placement in planes due to low loading, though it thinks that the risk of contracting the coronavirus on board is low, he said.
The airline expects its domestic passenger traffic to recover to the level of 2019 in December and international passenger traffic to grow back to the level of 2019 by the end of March 2021 if international air travel is restored, he said.
At the same time, the company wants to regain its position in transit of foreign passengers. Aeroflot has been fighting for transit of Chinese passengers to Europe for seven years, and has been the first among foreign airlines for the past three years, he said.
УWe would very much like to return as we put a lot of effort into that, we want the transit to recover. It is a large amount of people, about 10 million passengers, and it is very profitable,Ф he said.
But Putin responded that it was still unclear when the foreign partners would reopen their airports and start allowing Russian tourists in.
УIt is unclear what our partners in many countries of the world, including Europe, would do, as they are unable to sort it out between themselves. It is unclear when they would open their borders and territories for the people of third countries, including Russians, even during the period of summer vacations,Ф Putin said.
Savelyev also confirmed AeroflotТs obligations on the purchase of 50 Russia-made MC-21 aircraft and an option for 35 more.
УWe are also the main customer for MC-21s. We are waiting for this plane, we have a firm contract for 50 aircraft and an option for 35 more. We will expand our fleet buy 85 aircraft. These are the obligations that we confirmed to the industry ministry,Ф he said.
Aeroflot also plans to obtain eight Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSF100) planes in 2020 and 14 more planes in 2021. Currently, the airline flies 54 SSJ100s, and plans to expand the amount to 150, Savelyev said.