Air Arabia Expands in Russia with new Rostov Connection

Middle East low-cost carrier Air Arabia has announced that Rostov will become its fifth destination in Russia when it inaugurates twice weekly flights from its Sharjah International Airport base on 02NOV12.  Since launching operations to Russia last year, Air Arabia has seen promising demand for travel between the UAE and Russia.

“The introduction of direct services to Rostov underscores Air Arabia’s commitment to make air travel more convenient for our passengers,” said Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia.  The airline says it is committed to using its infrastructure to further improve connectivity increasing services to more destinations in Russia and the wider CIS region.  

“We will continue to focus on our route expansion strategy in the Russian Federation and Eastern European sectors where we have launched a number of new destinations since the beginning of this year,” said Adel Ali.  “We are confident that the new service will offer our customers a great choice for affordable travel and further contribute to the strong trade and tourism relations between the UAE and Russia.”

Air Arabia introduced its first flights to Russia in November 2009 when it inaugurated services from Sharjah to Samara.  However, this route lasted just a matter of months and was ended in March 2010, according to OAG schedule data.  It returned to the Russian market in October 2011 with flights to Moscow Domodedovo and the following month added Yekaterinburg’s Koltsovo International Airport to its network map.  In the last month it has also introduced flights to Kazan and Ufa, while it has revealed it will add services to Mineralnye Vody in the near future, having reached an agreement in principle with the Russian airport at Routes CIS in June this year.

With the UAE developing as an increasing popular leisure getaway for Russians, there has been a growing demand for air services between the two countries.  As the table below highlights, scheduled O&D demand has increased 56.0 per cent over the past five years, a period during which scheduled air capacity more than doubled to approximately 525,000 seats in each direction last year.

SCHEDULED AIR PASSENGER DEMAND BETWEEN UAE AND RUSSIA (bi-directional O&D traffic)

Year

Estimated O&D Passenger Demand

% Change

2007

354,113

8.3 %

2008

356,583

0.7 %

2009

378,349

6.1 %

2010

412,131

8.9 %

2011

510,184

23.8 %