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Russian airlines carried 78,400 passengers in the first quarter through the commuter subsidy program, more than doubled from 29,800 passengers in the year-ago period. According to Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, the number of operated flights grew 88.6% to 1,698 in 2016 from 900 in 1Q 2015.
Russian carriers have used RUB388.97 million ($5.8 million) of the subsidy program, up 34% year-over-year (YOY). Nineteen airlines took part in the program in the 1Q, including Angara, Aurora, YuVT-Aero, RusLine, Red Wings and Komiaviatrans. The flights are operated using SSJ100s, ATR-42s, Antonov An-148s, An-24/26/28s, Let L-410s and Bombardier CRJ 100/200s.
The whole subsidized network comprises 115 routes in 67 cities in eight federal districts; the airlines operated flights on 79 routes during this year’s first quarter.
The most popular route of the program is Novosibirsk-Talakan, which connects Novosibirsk, one of Russia’s biggest cities, with the oil-and-gas field airport in Yakutia (Sakha). The flights are operated by Angara Airline, which carried 3,538 passengers in 1Q. The route is followed by Yekaterinburg-Novy Urengoy and Krasnoyarsk-Tomsk.
The government intends to spend RUB3.83 billion on the program in 2016.
Within the framework of the Volga region commuter subsidy program, airlines carried 23,300 passengers in 1Q 2016, up 18.9% year-over-year. Three carriers are taking part in a program—Avia Management Group, working under Dexter brand, YuVT-Aero and Orenburg Airport airline. All together they performed 2,410 flights.
Currently, RUB98.8 million out of a RUB450 million budget has already been spent on the program.