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Why So Many Airlines In Russia?  
User currently offline8herveg From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 1395 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6619 times:

Could someone please tell me why there are so many airlines in Russia? I mean, I know it is a big country, but surely the amount of airlines (as evident in the list below), is not necessary? Please correct me if I am wrong. Also, havn't a lot of them got old/ageing aircraft? It would be nice to see a few of them merge and order some new aircraft from Airbus or Boeing!

Any comments appreciated.

2nd Arkhangelsk Aviation Enterprise • 2nd Sverdlovsk Air Enterprise • Abakan Avia • Aero Rent • Aeroflot • Aeroflot-Cargo • Aeroflot-Don • Aeroflot-Nord • Air Bashkortostan • AirBridge Cargo • Airport Bratsk • Airstars Airways • Alania Airlines • Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise • Alrosa-Avia • Altai Airlines • Angara Airlines • Atlant-Soyuz Airlines • ATRAN Cargo Airlines • Avcom • Aviacon Zitotrans • Aviaenergo • Avial NV • Aviaprad • Aviast • Aviastar Airlines • Bugulma Air Enterprise • Bural • Bylina • Centre-Avia • Chitaavia • Chukotavia • Continental Airways • Dagestan Airlines • Dalavia • Dauria • Dexter • Dobrolet Airlines • Domodedovo Airlines • Elbrus Avia • Gazpromavia • Interavia Airlines • Izhavia • Jet Air Group • Jet-2000 • KD Avia • Karat • Kavminvodyavia • Kemerovo Aviation Enterprise • Kogalymavia • Kosmos • KrasAir • Krylo Airlines • Kuban Airlines • LUKoil-Avia • Mavial Magadan Airlines • Meridian • Moskovia Airlines • Novosibirsk Air Enterprise • Omskavia • Orenburg Airlines • Perm Airlines • Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise • Polar Airlines • Polet Airlines • Rossiya • RusAir • Russian Sky Airlines • Ryazanaviatrans • S7 Airlines • Samara Airlines • Saravia • SAT Airlines • Sibaviatrans • Sky Express • Tatarstan Airlines • Tesis Aviation Enterprise • Tomskavia • Transaero • UTair • UTair Express • Ural Airlines • VASO Airlines • VIM Airlines • Vladivostok Air • Volga-Aviaexpress • Volga-Dnepr • Vologda Aviation Enterprise • Voronezhavia • Vostok Airlines • Vyborg • Yak-Service • Yakutia Airlines • Yamal Airlines

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6537 times:

They need time to shake out..it is a big country with different ethnicnicities..overtime it will shake out..probably soem airlines are in existence for no purpose than money laundering

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 29464 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6507 times:

There were many more airlines soon after the Soviet Union broke up and the old Aeroflot ended most of it's domestic and regional services to the former Soviet republics to focus mainly on international services. At one point I think there were around 300 Russian airlines made up of the surviving equipment and staff of the suspended Aeroflot services. Most of them didn't survive for long.

User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Austria, joined Mar 2004, 3478 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6494 times:

Quoting 8herveg (Thread starter):

Any comments appreciated.

During the Soviet Union, Aeroflot was by far the largest airline on the planet. Every single craft that was capable of flying, whether it be airplane, helicopter, crop duster, whatever... flew under the titles of Aeroflot. The amount of routes that Soviet Aeroflot flew simply cannot be counted by anyone. Not only did they fly to the hundreds of airports around the country, but they also landed in various fields, farmlands, and far-away places in almost all the corners of the country. Every big airport had it's own Aeroflot "hub". For instance St. Petersburg airport was run by the Leningrad division of Aeroflot, and Moscow by it's division. Same goes for cities like Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and so on. When the Soviet Union split up, a major change took place in Russian aviation. The modern day "Aeroflot - Russian Airlines" is what is left after the Moscow division of SU in the Soviet Union. This explains why SU now has the largest amount of international traffic. Moscow was the base of international travel. The rest of the "hubs" were broken down and little airlines emerged after being re-named from the main Aeroflot company. This is why you know see airlines like Kras Air, Omsk Avia, Novosibirsk Air Enterprise. All these companies are now separate entities, and took the place of what the local Aeroflot branches used to serve.

This is why there are hundreds of airlines in Russia, the list is probably 3 or 4 times as big as you mentioned in your post. Obviously as time went by, we now see that a few of the airlines have become more stable and are now significant players in the market. I'm talking about airlines such as Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Transaero, Rossiya, Domodedovskie Avialinii, and KrasAir.

Hope that helped.


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6463 times:

Some of these airlines only have like 2 Tu-154s, I'm guessing what was given to them from the breakup of Aeroflot. None of them can be really profitable, other than the big airlines, I imagine. Maybe even used for money laundering.


What now?
User currently offlineSwiftski From Australia, joined Dec 2006, 2701 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

Quoting 8herveg (Thread starter):
I mean, I know it is a big country, but surely the amount of airlines (as evident in the list below), is not necessary?

±150 million people, and a huge distance between places.

Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 4):
Some of these airlines only have like 2 Tu-154s

That too, indeed.

User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6179 times:

You need to consider the sheer size of Russia. It's twize the size of the USA!

Now consider how many airlines are in the USA? There are maybe 100 domestic airlines in Russia. This is similar to the USA (don't forget you're including tiny outfits in Russia, there are many more tiny airlines in the USA). Also remember all those tiny airlines in the USA operate under the names of the main carriers, so it appears as though there are smaller airlines.

I'd say that in proportion to the size of the place Russia doesn't have a lot of airlines.

User currently offlineFYODOR From Russia, joined May 2005, 716 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6043 times:

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 3):
During the Soviet Union, Aeroflot was by far the largest airline on the planet.

Hi body!

With you good and right explanation of the situation with Russian airlines, let me to correct you a bit.

If to be strictly correct Aeroflot was never existed as a company. Name 'Aeroflot' was used as the collective name of aviation enterprises of the Ministry for Civil Aviation all over the USSR. As the company Aeroflot operated just on international routes. And you correct - most of Russia's oblast's, lands and republics had own avition enterprise, some times two, three or even more at any subject of federation. It was called OAO or if to translate it - United Aviation Squad (sounds a bit military but like it was at soviet times). United because of the enterprise was united with local airport. For example the Domodedovo based enterprise was OAO as like as the smallest group of An-2 with grass covered field could be OAO as well. And at the beginning of 90s I worked at 2nd LOAO LUGA (2nd Leningrad UAS of Leningrad Department of Civil Aviation) - Rzhevka (ULSS/RVH) based enerprise, 2nd after Pulkovo at Saint-Petersburg.

After the USSR collapsed each enetrprise became the separated company, some were privatised, some not and continued activity as joint with airport companies. Name Aeroflot was given to OAO based at Sheremetievo, but airport was excludet from it. As far as most of international agreements were signed on behalf of Aeroflot at 90s absolute majority of international flights were operated under SU code even if it was FGUAP Pulkovo or any other carriers. Such enterprises were needed to pay to Aeroflot for permission to fly abroad under SU title. After the new agreemnts with other countries came in power situation had changed to more market one.

Indeed such system could not survived for a long time. Having as you said just 2-3 Tu-134 companise were not able to develop business and dead. Many cities and towns lost not only the local carriers but also airports were closed (as like as at Novgord the Great). Started form more than 400 aircompanies at 90s if I'm not mistakig at the moment we have 283 actual aviation companies with less than 20 real market players.

There are still a lot of discussions how it shoud looks like - civil aviation in Russia. Aeroflot and some state officals stays for strict reduce of the number of carriers (SU even proposed to reburn the state monopoly after the number of crashes last year). Some aviation officials stated it sould be 3-4 big national carriers and thats all (with possible exaption for small regional ones engaged to larger operators business). It is indeed under the idea of safety reasons but being at GR consultancy for the years I have to say it is mostly competetive features indeed. However the number of the carriers will be redced anyway- that is obvious market process. Generally situation at the Russian market have some similarities with US before 1978 but the picture is rether diferent of cause.

Also I have to say that there is also the process of establishing of principaly new airlines - 'from the zero' as we say - like VIM, Vyborg, Sky Express etc. It is very positive process giving us clear vision that market is development and competition is possible.

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