Aeroflot is the largest operator between the United States and Central/Eastern Europe this year, based on non-stop capacity. Following significant growth before the pandemic hit, we look at the Russian airline to the US and examine its Miami operation.
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, Aeroflot had over one million seats between Moscow Sheremetyevo, its main hub, and the US, according to data experts OAG. It more than doubled in size between 2012 and 2019 (+115%), the result of introducing Miami in 2012 and very significant growth to JFK.
Why such growth to JFK?
The expansion to JFK was helped by fellow SkyTeam airline Delta ceasing the route in 2017 and Transaero ending it from Moscow Vnukovo in 2015. Because of this gap, Aeroflot increased summertime frequencies from two- to three-daily. In summer 2019, two flights were operated by 402-seat B777-300ERs, while the third was by 296-seat A330-300s.
Aeroflot to the USA this year
Looking to the first week of August 2021, Aeroflot’s US network comprises four destinations, as follows. Intriguingly, Los Angeles, which has been served for many years, will leave Russia at a different time each day, from 07:05 to 19:45.
- JFK: 10 weekly (B777-300ER)
- Los Angeles: six-weekly (B777-300ER)
- Miami: three-weekly (A350-900)
- Washington Dulles: once-weekly (A330-300)
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Aeroflot from Miami
Miami had a 10% share of Aeroflot’s US seats in 2019, according to OAG data, which has risen to 15% in the current year. Capacity has grown steadily. In summer 2019, there were four-weekly flights, with COVID reducing that by just one. (Naturally, Miami has more service during the winter.)
Miami had an 84% seat load factor
In 2019, Aeroflot had an 84% seat load factor (SLF) to/from Miami, according to the USA’s Department of Transportation’s T-100 statistics. This was higher than JFK (82%) and Dulles (83%), but lower than Los Angeles (86%).
Significantly, the Florida airport had the highest point-to-point (P2P) fare, even when spread over miles. According to booking data obtained via OAG Traffic Analyzer, the P2P passenger revenue per mile for Miami-Sheremetyevo was $0.111, excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge. In contrast, it was $0.102 for Los Angeles, $0.099 for JFK, and just $0.078 for Dulles. This suggests that Miami had a good mix of premium passengers.
Miami to Sheremetyevo and beyond
While Sheremetyevo-Miami had decent levels of P2P traffic, in 2019, over 48,000 round-trip passengers transited the Moscow hub. Of these, some ~15,000 were connected to other Russian destinations.
The largest origin and destination (O&D), however, was Miami-Tel Aviv, although it had only ~4,000 passengers. As is often the case, transit traffic comprises a good quantity of small-volume O&Ds. The likes of Minsk, Yekaterinburg, Delhi, Vilnius, Cairo, Almaty, and Larnaca were all within the top-10 transit O&Ds, booking data shows.
The author has flown Aeroflot a few times, including aboard the Il-96, Sukhoi Superjet, A310-300, B777-300ER, and A330-300. Have you flown Aeroflot to/from the US? If so, what were your experiences? Share them in the comments.