LONDON – Aeroflot (SU) announced today a new strategy to become a Skytrax 5-star airline. The plan also involves the airline’s subsidiaries Pobeda (DP), Rossiya (FV), and Aurora Airlines (HZ).
While the rating company has been under scrutiny from the industry for a while, Skytrax awards do at least normally tally with other rating organizations such as APEX and Tripadvisor. In any case, with this strategy, everything about SU will change.
Aeroflot wants to become a Skytrax 5-star airline, and as part of that plan, the airline intends to exclusively operate long-haul and premium routes.
The company notes that the only Skytrax 5-star airline carrying more than 35 million passengers per year is Lufthansa (LH); the company feels that bigger airlines cannot deliver amazing quality.
Therefore SU will for the most part not operate regional routes, instead focusing on markets where it can excel and deliver a high quality product.
While many people like to joke about SU, the reality is that the airline is already excellent. Now SU is getting the A350 with new business class seats, so the fleet will be implemented for long-hauls, managing to reach its plans easier.
Pobeda is Aeroflot’s low-cost carrier and at the moment operates a fleet of 30+ Boeing 737. SU is planning significant growth for the subsidiary: SU will transfer nearly 50 Boeing 737-800 to Pobeda.
Pobeda will operate an all-economy model, so this also means that these flights would no longer feature business class; the planes would go from featuring 158 seats to 189 seats.
The subsidiary has significantly more seats on planes and a lower cost structure, so SU believes this could lead to a 30% reduction in regional fares; 12% of DP passengers have never flown before, and the plan is for the airline to expand in that market.
Rossiya operates both short and long-haul. The subsidiary currently operates a fleet of nearly 60 aircraft, about a third of which are long haul aircraft (including Boeing 777 and 747). As such, the airline will more than quadruple in size over the coming years.
The plan: Aeroflot’s fleet of up to 150 Sukhoi Superjets will be transferred to Rossiya (FV so far has about 55 in its fleet, with a further 95 on order).
In addition, SU’s order for 50 Irkut MC-21-300 will be transferred to FV. This means FV’s fleet will eventually feature mostly Russia-built aircraft.