Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has today revealed more international routes are resuming. The airline will, before the end of this week, be renewing services to Dubai, Cairo and Male in the Maldives. This comes following a less bad than expected first-half result, and news that the airline is on the brink of securing just less than $1bn in support.
UAE, Egypt and Maldives are back in the network
Russia’s biggest airline Aeroflot is taking steps to rebuild its commercial network. Having resumed some commercial services in early August, the airline is now restarting flights to Dubai, Cairo and Male in the Maldives.
According to a release from the airline today, the flights will resume on the following schedule:
- Dubai (from September 11th) – Outbound from Sheremetyevo on Fridays and Saturdays in September, moving to Fridays and Sundays in October. The return flights will be on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Cairo (from September 9th) – Outbound flights will leave Sheremetyevo on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Returning services will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
- Male (from September 10th) – Outbound flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. The return to Sheremetyevo will take place on Fridays and Sundays.
The airline did not supply timings for these flights, but says they are bookable on its website or by telephone. It noted that the frequency of flights could be subject to changes as more of the international schedule is restored.
These resumptions come a month after the airline began flying to London again. It had halted all services in April after Russia implemented a ban on all international flights, leaving Aeroflot with just repartition and cargo services to tide it over. However, it began operating to nearby destinations, including Belgrade, Ljubljana, Tivat and Split in July, and on August 1st, it added London Heathrow as its first long-haul destination. It also returned to Turkey.
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Like all airlines, Aeroflot has had a lot to contend with following the coronavirus outbreak. Unable to operate its usual passenger flights, the airline has turned to its government for help to see it through the crisis. It’s a pattern we’ve seen repeated with major airlines all over the world.
Last week it was revealed that Aeroflot had secured a $107 million subsidy from the Russian government and was seeking state guarantees for two loans worth a combined $940 million. This, it said, would go some way to easing the burden of its 52% revenue drop, as noted in its first-half financial results call.
Despite passenger revenue drying up, Aeroflot has been quick to pivot to cargo. In its financial report, the airline said,
“With almost no revenue from passenger transportation we needed to think out of the box. Given strong demand for cargo services we reoriented a number of wide-body aircraft to carry cargo, resulting in strong cargo revenue, which was up 64.0% in second quarter year-on-year.”
This rapid pivot saw Aeroflot registering a loss of only $8 million, which was far less than originally expected. With passenger services slowly opening up again, we can expect to see the airline begin to claw back this loss in time for the end of the year.