Top-15 of the largest Russian airlines

ranking 05.07.2019

There is a real boom on the Russian air transportation market. In 2018 the local airlines transported a record number of passengers in the history of our aviation - 116,2 million people, which is 10,6% more that in 2017. According to January-May 2019 results, the ratio increased by 12,3% in comparison with the same period last year: 44,9 million people departured. In case the trend remains the same, about 130 million passengers are supposed to be transported in 2019. The ban on flights to Georgia from July 8, 2019, introduced by the President of the Russian Federation, may influence on the final figure and reduce it, but not more than 0,5-1 million people.

According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), 4.7 billion people worldwide used regular flights in 2018.

In recent years of the Soviet Union, about 90 million people per year traveled by air in Russia, in 1999 there was a sharp collapse of air traffic – reduction to 22 million people. It took almost a quarter of a century for airlines to exceed the figures of the Soviet period. It happened in 2014 when 93 million people came on board. In general the dynamics of air travel clearly correlates with the overall socio-economic situation in the country. In times of crisis, citizens don't think about travelling (see Picture 1).

Picture 1. Dynamics of passengers transported by Russian airlines, million people Picture 1. Dynamics of passengers transported by Russian airlines, million people

Aeroflot is the leading Russian airline company, which transported 14,5 million people in January-May 2019. That is 11,3% more than for the same period of 2018. The company occupies more than a third of the domestic market (see table 1).

The second and third place take SIBERIA AIRLINES (S7 brand) and ROSSIYA AIRLINES, which transported 4,6 million and 3,7 million passengers respectively.

The best dynamics of indicators demonstrated Red wings and the largest domestic low-coster Pobeda - growth of passengers by 45,5% and 45,1% respectively. The downward trend demonstrated only one company of the ranking, 509 thousand people used the services of Yamal Airlines, which is 17% less than in January-May 2018.

In total, the Top-15 companies account for over 93% of air travelers.

Among the ranking participants, Utair is the only airline company with a net loss of 4,3 billion RUB (according to the latest financial statements). The difficulties began long ago; the guarantees of one of the key shareholders (Government of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra) help the company to stay afloat.

Table 1. Top-15 of Russian airlines by number of transported passengers
Position Company Transported passengers, thousands people, Jan-May 2019 Growth (decrease), Jan-May 2018, % Market share, % Revenue, million RUB Net profit (loss), million RUB
1 Aeroflot JSC
Аэрофлот
14489 11.3 32.3 504697
(2018)
27967
(2018)
2 JSC SIBERIA AIRLINES (S7)
S7
4637 13.9 10.3 117722
(2017)
4432
(2017)
3 ROSSIYA AIRLINES JSC
Россия
3739 6.9 8.3 94812
(2017)
4196
(2017)
4 Pobeda Airlines LLC
Победа
3661 45.1 8.2 20296
(2017)
3499
(2017)
5 JSC URAL AIRLINES
Уральсике авиалинии
3298 9.1 7.3 81295
(2018)
386
(2018)
6 UTAIR AVIATION JSC
Ютэйр
2956 2.9 6.6 58490
(2018)
-4377
(2018)
7 LLC GLOBUS (S7)
Глобус
1776 15.3 4.0 34963
(2017)
3892
(2017)
8 LLC Nordwind Airlines
Северный ветер
1765 2.9 3.9 30309
(2017)
256
(2017)
9 LLC AZUR air
Азур эйр
1660 21.1 3.7 32525
(2017)
162
(2017)
10 NAO Red Wings
Ред вингс
929 45.5 2.1 10028
(2017)
164
(2017)
11 LLC IKAR AIRLINES (Pegas Fly)
Пегас
702 21.4 1.6 15777
(2017)
59
(2017)
12 JSC Royal Flight Airlines
Роял
603 10.5 1.3 15394
(2017)
44
(2017)
13 JSC Aurora Airlines
Аврора
588 3.3 1.3 17491
(2017)
211
(2017)
14 JSC Yamal Airlines
Ямал
509 -17.0 1.1 19838
(2018)
13
(2018)
15 JSC NORDAVIA
Нордавиа
461 36.2 1.0 6947
(2017)
1
(2017)
Top-15 of airlines 41773 13.1 93.1 - -
Total 44887 12.3 100 - -

Along with such impressive growth in the number of passengers, the industry is facing great difficulties:

  • High cost of transportation. The rise in prices of kerosene and airport services forcing companies to increase ticket prices to reduce costs. However, there is no possibility to raise prices sharply due to reduction of effective demand and high competition in the market.
  • Renewal of aircraft fleet. For most companies there is a problem of renewal of fleet, which is gradually running out of resources. Many airlines take the fleet on lease rather than purchase it. The risk of higher prices for payments issued in foreign currency increases due to the fluctuation of exchange-value of rouble.
  • Training of flight personnel. The companies are forced to retrain pilots at their own expense due to insufficient level of training in aviation schools. Besides, professionals are aimed to get a job in the leading foreign airlines, where the rate of remuneration is much higher.