Despite sanctions and a closed European airspace, Russian airlines plan to increase passenger numbers to over 100 million in 2023. Or rather, the government intends them to. This statement was made by the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Savelyev, at a meeting with Vladimir Putin and other members of the government on Tuesday, January 24.

The plans include both state-owned carriers under the umbrella of the Aeroflot Group and privately run airlines such as S7 Airlines. If targets are met, it would mean an increase in passengers with approximately six million, up from 95 million in 2022.

According to Russian state-run media TASS, Savelyev stated that the current combined Russian commercial fleet of 1,164 aircraft would be enough to meet the predicted increase in demand over the coming 12 months.

As with many things when it comes to aviation in Russia, the plans are a top-down approach. Minister Savelyev said,

“In 2023, we plan to carry more than 101 million passengers; the relevant plans have been communicated to the airlines.”

However, traffic figures could be adjusted somewhat when taking into account the potential prolonged closure of airports in the south of Russia close to the Ukrainian border.

S7 A320neo in snow

Photo: Kislond/Shutterstock

Regulators approve operating with non-original parts

Where the spare parts and maintenance to keep the fleet flying safely will come from was not mentioned in the specific context. However, last week, Aviation Week Network reported that Rosaviatsia, the Federal Air Transport Agency, had formally given approval to aircraft cannibalization, meaning that parts from grounded planes can be re-installed on other aircraft.

It also allows the installation of non-original spare parts on foreign-made aircraft without approval from type-certificate holders. Aeroflot Group CEO Sergey Alexandrovsky said in an interview last month that the stock of original part parts would last between two and six months, depending on the part in question.

Aeroflot A320

Photo: Media_works | Shutterstock

Increasing flights for summer schedule

On Tuesday, minister Savelyev further stated that airlines would complete their summer 2023 schedules by the end of February. These would include maintaining the current route network and increasing the number of flights, as well as adding new regional services.

For instance, flag carrier Aeroflot will begin flying from Samara, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Perm and Ufa to Mineralnye Vody, a popular domestic leisure destination. (The literal translation is ‘Mineral Waters,’ named from the naturally occurring hot springs of the area.)

Following the partial reopening of China’s borders, Aeroflot is also increasing its flights to Guangzhou up to three times a week from February 15, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday. Services will operate from Moscow Sheremetyevo on the carrier’s Boeing 777 jets.

What do you make of the Russian plans to increase passenger numbers? And will flying remain safe? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Source: TASS, Aviation Week Network

Source: simpleflying.com

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