Air Carries in Summer War for Urals Tourists
04.06.2009 — News
THE SVERDLOVSK OBLAST.
The number of flights from Ekaterinburg to the European cities in the summer is beginning to decrease. According to experts' opinions, travel agencies seriously overestimated their own potential - their supply is twice higher than the consumer demand.
Financial requirements of the regional air carriers also play a negative role. Some tour operators prefer to send their clients to the EU-countries on a foreign carrier's transit flights. Moreover, the overpriced services draw some of the top five Russian air carriers to the regional market, as they can offer lower prices.
RusBusinessNews was told by the Ural Airlines (ranked 7th by the number of passengers transported in Russia in 2008) that three flights to Varna, Bulgaria, were cancelled in June because of the lack of demand. Earlier, by the agreement with tour operators, the number of flights to Croatia and Montenegro was halved.
The number of flights to Barcelona has been decreased in similar fashion. Ural Airlines are trying to compete with Vladivostok-Avia's charter flights to Barcelona (the company was ranked 11 by the number of passengers transported last year). But Vladivostok-Avia's clients are Russian tour operators which have affiliated companies in Spain.
However, some tourists from the Urals wishing to travel to the Iberian Peninsula fly Czech Airlines. The company offers Ekaterinburg-Barcelona flights 5 days a week with a comfortable connection in Prague 50 Euro cheaper than Russian carriers.
Market players are not happy with the Ural Airlines' monopoly for the flights to Greece and Cyprus. They think that Aeroflot, the leading air carrier in Russia, may challenge the Ural Airlines on the Cyprus route. Flights from Ekaterinburg to Greece now cost 200 Euro more than flights from Moscow to the same destination. There was the same price difference for the flights to Italy until Aeroflot started to offer Ekaterinburg-Rimini flights.
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