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“It won’t work without tour operators”: the expert assessed the prospects for flights from Yakutsk to the UAE, Egypt and Turkey

The management of the Yakutsk airport invited Aeroflot to launch flight programs to Egypt, the UAE, China, Thailand and a number of other international destinations. Currently, it only serves domestic flights, with the exception of the only direct route to Harbin, China.

TASS wrote about the proposal to the largest domestic air carrier: it had at its disposal a copy of the letter to the management of Aeroflot signed by the general director of the Yakutsk airport Sergei Ignatenko. It says that due to the completion of the runway reconstruction and certification of the airfield, it has become possible to serve international flights on aircraft with a capacity of up to 300 passengers.

Against the background of the almost complete absence of international flights from Yakutsk, plans to fly to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Egypt and other distant countries look, to put it mildly, ambitious. Let us remind you that the population of this city is about 378 thousand inhabitants, and just over 900 thousand live in the entire vast territory of the Republic of Sakha.

At the same time, Yakutsk had previously hatched plans to fly not only to Harbin, but also to longer distances, for example to Thailand. However, attempts to launch charter flights to Phuket in cooperation with Icarus airlines in mid-January of this year ended in nothing. As TourDom.ru already reported, the stumbling block was the number of passengers who could be served at the Yakut airport.

Icarus was ready to provide Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 440 seats, but the capacity of the local air harbor is limited to 300 passengers. The airport management suggested that the air carrier consider limiting the sale of air tickets so as not to exceed the permissible limit. But judging by the report that the charter program is being postponed, the airline is not too excited about the prospect of flying to Phuket with 140 empty seats.

“When cities like Yakutsk plan to organize international flights from their air harbor, the initiative should first of all come not from airport management, but from tourism operators. They can calculate all the risks associated with loading the planes with tourists. Without guarantees that the plane will not fly half empty, not a single airline will open new international flights from cities, especially if there are less than half a million inhabitants,” an independent expert in the field of air passenger transportation told the editors of TourDom.ru.

Taking into account the imposed sanctions and restrictions, which led to a reduction in the fleet of Russian carriers with the ability to fly on international routes, the Yakutsk airport’s appeal to Aeroflot is understandable. This airline now has the largest fleet of wide-body long-haul aircraft that can serve such flights, the specialist recalled. But turning to Aeroflot does not mean getting consent.

“Without strategic partnerships with large tour operators, such projects are unlikely to become profitable,” the expert concluded.

According to observers, taking into account its location, it is more logical for the management of the Yakutsk airport to concentrate on developing flight programs to the nearest Asian countries and expand the geography of flights to China. And secondly, consider more distant routes, based on the logistics capabilities of the carriers.

Source: Tourdom

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