Air Transport World

Suffering on the steppes.(Russian air carriers suffer losses)

Russia's yearly report on aviation describes an industry in rapid decline, with very few bright spots

Russia's Federal Aviation Service revealed in its annual report for 1998 that the number of passengers carried on the country's airlines fell 9.7% to 22.4 million. This is the ninth successive year of decreasing passenger numbers. In 1990 the Russian divisions of a then-united Aeroflot carried 90.7 million of the 137 million total passengers for the Soviet Union.

Traffic in the first half of the year showed a small drop, but following the country's economic collapse on August 17, passenger numbers plunged 40-75% in the next two months.

Of the 20 regions comprising Russia, only four showed growth. Not surprisingly, these included Moscow, the strongest traffic area with some 28.5% of all Russia-originating passengers; growth here was 5.9%. The Central Regions, broadly those within approximately a 600-mi. …

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