Russian Travel Market
20 May 2020
Russian Travel Market
The Russian Tourist Industry Union and the Russian Hotel Association suggested that domestic tourism should be permitted from June 1, 2020, “at least between regions with a low incidence of Covid-19.” In a special address sent to the Government they proposed the international tourism to be resumed from July 1, but only accepting tourists from countries with fewer instances of coronavirus. As for outbound tourism it is expected that the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey to be the first to welcome the Russian tourists. Besides, according some travel agencies in parallel with domestic resorts, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan might open their borders for the Russians among the first outbound destinations.
Transport Ministry proposes increased support to airlines and expects international flights to resume in July
Transport Minister said at a video conference with President Putin that the Ministry proposes to give additional $412 million to airlines in the second half of 2020. Final decision could be taken in the end of second quarter 2020. For the time being, the government allocated $321 million to airlines and $138.6 million to airports.
The Ministry also hopes to restore domestic flights in June, and international flights in July. Earlier, Aeroflot predicted a resumption of international flights in mid-summer. Aeroflot already opened sale of tickets abroad from August 1 and S7 – from mid-July
New rules for the aviation industry
As the aviation industry hobbles back to work, Russia’s Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare is encouraging airlines to sell no more than 50 percent of the available seats on planes, in order to observe social distancing guidelines. Rospotrebnadzor has recommnded that Russian airlines fill their flights by no more than 50% in order to adequately space passengers apart from each other. The agency also recommends that passengers be seated in new configurations to put them as far as possible from each other, and says passengers and air crews should also be provided with masks, gloves, and sanitizer, and officials should measure everyone’s temperatures before boarding a flight. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency previously proposed a ban on all movement within the cabin during flights except for trips to the bathroom. Travel agencies are afraid that boarding of passengers in compliance with the required distance may lead to the increase in ticket price. According to Biletix survey, 52% of respondents are not ready to overpay for a ticket associated with the additional measures to prevent infection with coronavirus, 37% are ready for increased prices by 10%, 7% - by 30%, and another 3% - by 50%.
Russian airlines resume domestic flights
Ural Airlines plans to expand the geography of flights and increase the volume of traffic from June 1. As for the resumption of flights, three schedules have been prepared depending on how the situation will evolve: flights only in Russia; flights in Russia and the CIS; flights in Russia, short-haul, and long-haul destinations.
Pobeda Airlines will begin to gradually resume flights within Russia from June 1. In early May, Aeroflot stipulated that, according to "optimistic forecasts," international flights could resume in mid-summer, still it is difficult to give an exact date for resuming international traffic. Starting June 2, S7 Airlines also resumes some domestic flights.
Kazakhstan’s major airlines resume flights to regional centres
Air Astana, SCAT Airlines and Qazaq Air resumed domestic scheduled flights on 12 May, from the Kazakh cities of Almaty and Nur-Sultan to regional centres across Kazakhstan, following the lifting of the Covid-19 pandemic-related national state of emergency. Three of the country’s larger airlines cautiously re-launched the central Asian country’s air transport industry on May 1 with flights on just one route, the nation’s key air link between the capital city of Nur-Sultan (previously Astana) and Almaty. The airlines do not restrict the use of the middle seat or require a COVID-19 negative test certificate. The airlines do not restrict the use of the middle seat or require a COVID-19 negative test certificate. Kazakhstan has been under a stringent quarantine regime for more than a month including the complete grounding of all domestic air travel since March 22.
60% of Russians do not plan a traditional summer vacation
According to the survey conducted by Otkrytie Bank, only 26% of Russians will take summer vacations in 2020. Another 15% are ready to take holidays only if the borders are opened. 33% do not plan to take holidays this summer, 13% already do not work now, and another 7% intend to devote this time to search for a job.
Where do Russians plan to spend their summer holidays?
At the same time, 27% of respondents said that they are afraid of long trips after quarantine, and 8% are not ready to go abroad at least a year after the end of the pandemic. 27% of Russians are ready to go on a long journey at the earliest opportunity. 13% of respondents who are ready to take a vacation, do not have money for trips abroad.
As for travel expenses, Russians are not ready to spend more than their average salary on summer vacation.
How much are the Russians ready to spend on summer vacation?
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