Aeroflot to Resume Flights on Mumbai-Moscow Route From Next July
The move is significant as New Delhi and Moscow are eyeing to nearly treble bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025 from around USD 11 billion now.
Representative image of Aeroflot. (Reuters)
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot plans to revive its services to Mumbai from the second quarter of the next fiscal year, even as its New Delhi-Moscow route continues to see high demand, the airline has said.
The airline said India remains a priority market and sees "immense" growth potential with traffic surging dramatically since the doubling of its services to New Delhi in 2016, clocking around 3 lakh passengers annually. Connecting India for more than six decades now, Aeroflot currently flies twice daily between the two capitals, the airline told PTI in an e-mail response from its Moscow headquarters and confirmed Mumbai-Moscow flight plans from mid-2020.
The move is significant as New Delhi and Moscow are eyeing to nearly treble bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025 from around USD 11 billion now. "Aeroflot is set to resume services to Mumbai with a daily flight deploying an Airbus A330 from July 2020," said the airline spokesperson, emphasising that given its size and potential, as well as the positive legacy of bilateral ties, India remains a priority market for Aeroflot.
The Russian flag carrier deploys a wide-body A330 for its New Delhi operations. Pointing out that the Moscow-New Delhi route contributes "strongly" to its trans-continental expansion into the Europe-Asia transit market, the airline said the traffic on the route spiked 16 per cent in the January-August period of 2019. Traffic increased dramatically back in summer 2016 when Aeroflot started the second daily flight to New Delhi, it said. Since then the annual passenger numbers on the route have been consistently reaching 3 lakh.
"We are in a sustainable expansion mode adding new routes or frequencies. Our focus is on providing a world-class offering for both business and leisure passengers. Transit passengers connecting India and Europe enjoy the shortest time on our service," said the spokesperson. Aeroflot currently serves 159 destinations across 54 countries. As part of its strategic goals for 2023, the Russian carrier also has plans to treble the international transit traffic from 5 million in 2017 to 10-15 million in 2023 as it sees immense potential to expand connections between Asia and Europe, with China being its most dynamic growth market.
Aeroflot also claims to have an "indisputable competitive advantage in the Europe-Asia transit segment", as it "offers flights up to 3 hours shorter than its peers" on these routes via Moscow, and claims to offer the lowest tickets. The most recent bilateral negotiations between India and Russia took place in January, which resulted in an agreement to increase frequency on the Moscow-Mumbai route to 15 (up from eight previously).
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