Eight Airlines to Introduce Special Tariffs for Crimean Flights

Sergey Vladimirov, 19.05.2014 15:51
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Price reductions for flights to Crimea will become a reality as soon as June 1. Eight Russian airlines have ‘volunteered’ to perform subsidized flights to Simferopol and back. Currently, Rosaviatsiya is in the process of signing all the necessary papers with the companies. Once that is taken care of, the carriers will have 7 days to register special tariffs in booking systems, publish them in accordance with the established procedure, and launch ticket sales.

“The companies that expressed readiness to provide subsidized flights to the Republic of Crimea were Ak Bars Aero, Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise, Nordavia, Red Wings, S7 Airlines, Ural Airlines, Yakutia Airlines and Yamal Airlines,” says the letter from Rosaviatsiya.

Thus, special tariff flights will be available in 17 Russian cities: Arkhangelsk, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Kazan, Kirov, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Samara, Surgut, Tomsk, Tyumen, Ufa and Chelyabinsk. The validity period of the reduced-price tariffs is from June 1 to October 31 of 2014.

The program covers all passengers without exception, including foreign tourists who depart from the aforementioned cities.

The maximum subsidy for a one-way special tariff ticket for one, with all charges included, will range from 2,000 ($57.5) rubles to 6,800 ($195) rubles, depending on the route. For instance, tourists from Irkutsk will prove the most expensive for the budget, with the subsidy being 6,800 rubles, while the ‘least expensive’ tourists will come from Samara – with the subsidy of 2,000 rubles.

As much as 679.8 million rubles is allocated from the federal budget to the program of subsidized flights from Simferopol and back.

The news about special tariffs garnered approval in Arkhangelsk, where flights to Crimea will be serviced by Nordavia. Representatives of Nordwind Airlines told TRN magazine that reduced-price tariffs make trips to Crimea affordable for the majority of the population.

"Usually people go to Crimea with families, so when buying three tickets tourists can save 18 thousand rubles ($517), which is basically half of the accommodation price," said the company's representatives. Last season, the cheapest price of air tickets from Arkhangelsk to Simferopol was 15 thousand rubles ($430.5).

Interestingly enough, St. Petersburg was not among the cities that enrolled in the special tariff program. TRN reached out to General Director of Kandagar Group’s St. Petersburg office Alena Kapranova for comment. According to the expert, flights from the city to Crimea are still being serviced only by Aeroflot, which is enough for now. However, the way the situation unfolds will be dependent on the carrier's future tariff policies.

“The reduced prices for flights from St. Petersburg to Crimea used to start at 8,600 rubles ($247), but these tickets quickly sold out. During the peak of the season in July-August, the price of a round-trip ticket ranges from 10 to 15 thousand rubles ($287-430). Currently, the lowest price we offer our clients is 10,500 rubles ($301),” says Kapranova.

With the price of 15 thousand rubles or more per ticket, it is still hard to predict the sales figures for air tickets to Crimea.

But still, Alena Kapranova says that sales of tickets to the peninsula are looking up in St. Petersburg.

"Sales of tickets to Crimea grew 4-5 times as compared to April. People have stopped worrying and started to show interest in the destination. Younger people tend to opt for the south coast of Crimea, while those of an older age and traveling with children prefer the beaches of Yevpatoria and Feodosia" she said.

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