With the story of the bankruptcy of one of the largest Russian airlines, Vim Avia, finally over and all passengers safely returned home, Autumn has brought lots of good news about new carriers and new routes coming to the Russian market. For the winter season, Aeroflot has increased flights from Moscow to Budapest (from 14 to 21 per week) to Dubai (also from 14 to 21 per week), as well as to Milan, Rome, Istanbul and Helsinki. On the long haul destinations, Aeroflot increased flights from Moscow to Male from 2 to 5 times per week.
At the end of October Czech Airlines opened a 3rd direct flight per week between Moscow and Prague, this follows a 50% growth of arrivals from Russia to the Czech Republic during the first 6 months of 2017, according to the national tourism board.
Low cost carrier from Cyprus called Cobalt Air started direct flights from Moscow to Pathos twice a week since October. This new airline was launched in July 2016. Cyprus has increasing number of flight connections with S7, Ural airline and low-cost Pobeda all flying to Cyprus this winter.
Also from end October, flydbai has doubled the number of flights from Moscow to Dubai, and added 2 more flights from the regional cities, making a total of 11 destinations in Russia from its Dubai hub. There are over 47 flights per week now with this airline to Dubai from various Russian cities. During the first 6 months of 2017, the traffic of Russian passengers on flydubai grew by 45% compared to the same period of last year.
Azur Air, which is the Anex Tour charter carrier, for one of Russia’s leading tour operators launched new charter flights from Moscow to Abu Dhabi, which is the first charter to this Emirate. Earlier in September, Azur Air also launched direct daily flights from Moscow to Dubai.
Also for the Middle East region, Gulf Air increased their flight frequency from Moscow to Bahrain to daily flights, as previously they were only 4 times a week. This flight will also connect with flights to Colombo, Sri Lanka. This follows the recent opening Bahrain tourism office in Russia earlier this year. Finally, Qatar Airways will start direct regular flights from St Petersburg to Qatar from December 2017.