State Subsidies to Cover 50% of Flight Cost from Russian Regions to Simferopol

Vladimir Savelyev, 10.04.2014 09:41
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Rosaviatsiya has published draft regulations for state funding of airlines aimed at making flights to Simferopol and back more affordable. The funding program is projected to cover flights from 16 cities, among which are Arkhangelsk, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Surgut, and Tyumen.

State subsidies for each destination will cover 50% of the ticket price. For instance, the draft sets the maximum price of a ticket from Arkhangelsk and Yekaterinburg to Simferopol at 3,000 rubles ($84), from Irkutsk – at 6,000 rubles ($168), from Kazan – 2,200 rubles ($62), from Nizhniy Novgorod – 2,000 rubles ($56), and from Novosibirsk – 4,800 rubles ($135).

Before that, the Aeroflot group had already introduced special tariffs for flights to Simferopol. With all the taxes and levies included, the minimum price for a round trip ticket from Moscow to the Crimean capital is 7.5 thousand rubles ($210), and one-way ticket costs 4 thousand rubles ($112). Aeroflot also lowered ticket prices for flights from St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don to Simferopol.

Dmirty Popov, Deputy General Director for Contract Work at Alean tour operator, believes that lowering air ticket prices will substantially benefit Crimea’s inbound tourist flow.

“Today it is the only way to transport tourists to the peninsula. Railroads are still in early development, and no one among our clients wants to travel by train. I think that the majority of tourists this year will prefer air transport to railways,” he said.

According to Popov, air carriage is also not without its issues. For instance, it is still unclear exactly how many special tariff tickets Aeroflot sells for each flight to Simferopol. “We have tried to buy tickets under this tariff for a group of 40 people, but we could not do it since there were not enough tickets for everybody,” he said.

The expert also told TRN that sales of tickets to Crimea are growing every day. Travel agencies from the regions, namely from the Urals and Siberia, have also filed applications. As recently as in March there was a colossal negative gap in performance compared to the same period of 2013 – sales dropped by the dozen, but with the way the situation is playing out now, the company expects to reach last year’s results in two or three weeks.


 


 

 

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