LONDON – National flag carrier of Russia, Aeroflot (SU), announced over the weekend that it expects significant growth over the next eight years.

CEO Vitaly Saveliev presented his findings to the Aeroflot Group Board of Directors on July 16.

Under the new strategy that the airline is adopting, the Group expects to handle 130 million passengers per year by 2028.

At the moment, the group is handling around 60.7 million passengers annually across the different subsidiaries. Therefore, this remains an increase of just over double within that eight-year period.

On top of this, the Group aims to expand its fleet reach to 600 aircraft, of which 235 will be built in Russia.

Photo: Pobeda

Aeroflot Subsidiaries

Its low-cost wing, Pobeda (DP), aims to carry between 55-65 million passengers per year by that same period. At the moment, the airline handled around 10.3 million customers last year.

The Group also stated that its Rossiya (FV) wing to operations will focus just on the domestic market, implementing flat fares on what the airline deems as “socially important routes”, and again continuing with the message of using Russian-built aircraft.

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.

Photo: Rossiva

Aeroflot Fleet 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.

Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Gennadyevich Saveliev commented on his findings, stating that such changes had been due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: Dmitry Zherdin

Comments from Aeroflot CEO

“Key aspects of the updated strategy were developed at the end of 2019. Recent developments caused by the coronavirus pandemic showed us that we are on the right track.”

“The updated strategy will make air travel more affordable and increase mobility, providing additional support for Aeroflot Group’s future growth.”

“The strategy through 2028 is called 30/30, as it calls for an increase in passenger traffic by 30 million, and a decrease in the average fares for economy-class passengers in Russia by 30%.”

“It is an ambitious goal, but I believe that we can achieve it and put the Aeroflot Group among the 10 largest global aviation groups.”

PHOTO: Fedor Leukhin.

The First Half of 2020

The Aeroflot Group in the first five months of the year (5M20) handled 11.7 million passengers, which is down 47.8% year-on-year.

The individual airline of Aeroflot handled 7.3 million passengers in that same period, which is a decrease of nearly half.

Load factor for the month for the Group was 45.4%, a 31.6% decrease compared to the same time last year. For the airline it dropped by 30.1% to 44.1%.

Photo: Daniel Veronesi

Recovery and Brand Logengivity

Overall, it remains clear that many will follow the lines of SU as each company looks to focus on the longevity of the individual brands, especially as we begin to think about recovery.

For Aeroflot, whilst this may be something of ambitious growth over the next eight years, this could suggest that recovery could only be around the corner as opposed to the next few years.