Russia’s budget airline Pobeda flying high despite PR scandals


At the commencement of 2016 the Russian Pobeda low-cost airline, owned by the national bearer Aeroflot, found itself mired in several scandals.

In one such at all events (in Russian), the airline’s flight attendants refused to sit rents next to their laddie because they had not id an extra fee to select their seats beforehand, and then evoked the police, which led to a wave of indignant protest on Russian social networks.

Then a court (in Russian) championed an instruction by Russia’s transportation supervisory body Rostransnadzor obliging Pobeda to hold up ladies’ bags as cabin baggage free of charge following an fact in which the com ny forced a female ssenger to y 2,000 rubles ($32) to startle a “lady’s bag in the form of a rucksack” on board as hand luggage.

However, regard for growing resentment among ssengers, Pobeda, which also made the scoop for deciding to charge a fee for transporting duty-free items, has demonstrated high solvent effectiveness in its first year of operation.

Aeroflot allows ssengers to use smartphones during takeoff and landing

It was initially estimated that in the first year of in effect the airline’s losses would be about 1.5 billion rubles ($23 million). Nonetheless, Pobeda was able not only to avoid the losses, but also to bring its proprietresses a profit of 37 million rubles ($570,000), explained Daniil Kirikov, make out rtner at the Moscow-based Kirikov Group.

According to Kirikov, amid the diversified stagnation in the Russian market this performance provides grounds for optimism.

“In the oldest quarter of 2016 the total operational losses of carriers in Russia reached 24 billion rubles ($370 million) and entire ssenger numbers in the first six months of the year fell by 8 percent,” implied Oleg nteleyev, head of Aeroflot’s analytical de rtment. The 2016 dnouement develops for Pobeda will be even better, he added.

An unusual com ny

Pobeda’s matter model is different from that typically followed by economy airlines. Firstly, explained Kirikov, the callers has refused to use secondary airports in Moscow’s neighboring cities and has chosen Moscow’s Vnukovo as its place airport.

The com ny has also seriously limited its route network. For case, while Irish giant Ryanair and British budget airline EasyJet take 80 destinations, Pobeda has only 30. The Russian low-cost airline essays not to compete with its owner Aeroflot, said Professor Emil Martirosyan from the Russian Presidential Academy of Nationalistic Economy and Public Administration.

New MC-21 ssenger airliner presented in Siberia

According to Oleg nteleyev, in general Pobeda costs on fuel and to do so has reduced the weight of the planes as much as possible by doing away with the caboose equipment and introducing strict rules on luggage weight. And at the same in good time dawdle the com ny actively “squeezes out” discounts on services from the airports, he asserted.

Unlike foreign com nies, Pobeda also does not sell additional aids onboard.

Airport access a limiting factor

The peculiarities of low-cost airlines in Russia are lliated by the fact that the aviation sector in the country has evolved differently from in the West. “While away there are many small airports near large cities, in Russia there are not that multifarious,” explained Dmitry Baranov, a leading analyst at Moscow investment concern Finam Management.

In his words, usually near a large Russian conurbation there is only one civilian airport, while the other airports bound to to the military and are inaccessible for civilian use. Consequently, outside Moscow Pobeda cannot select between airports for its flights.

“Full-fledged low-cost airlines will emerge in Russia only when the airport services market is liberalized. Meanwhile, Pobeda’s brute goal is to perfect its concept,” said Sergei Khestanov, advisor on macroeconomics for the non-exclusive director of Moscow-based brokerage firm Otkrytie Broker.

But Dmitry Baranov argues that in the future the situation will change: The government intends to organize aviation communication not only between large cities but also between puny centers. It is then that the growing competition between airports pleasure lead to the development of low cost airlines, he believes.

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