S7 Group, the largest private aviation holding in Russia, has announced its plans to create a new airline that will operate according to the classic low-cost airline model. The ticket sale will begin in the spring of 2022, and the first flights are scheduled for July 2022.
The airline’s fleet will consist entirely of new comfortable Airbus A320neo aircraft. A preliminary agreement on the delivery of the first four liners has already been signed. In the first three years, the airline plans to increase its fleet by 6-8 aircraft annually. It is estimated that in 2024 the low-cost airline’s fleet will have more than 20 aircraft.
The route network of the new airline will focus primarily on direct cross-regional routes in central Russia.
“The creation of a new airline is a logical and consistent step for us. We see great potential in the cross-regional transportation segment which we cannot cover within the current S7 Airlines business model. But a carrier operating according to the low-cost business model can take this market share. If we look at the international experience, we can see that the route network of the European low-cost airlines is distributed between regions. In the Russian market, low-cost air transportation is available mainly in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation also highlighted the necessity to create another low-cost airline in central Russia in order to improve the accessibility of the regions, ” says Tatyana Fileva, a S7 Group shareholder.
“The Ministry of Transport supports the consistent development of the domestic low-cost transportation system. Creating a new low-cost airline will greatly satisfy the population’s demand for low-cost flights in Russia. This task is implemented according to the instruction by the President of the Russian Federation aimed to increase the population’s mobility, ” noted Vitaly Savelyev, the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation.
The new low-cost carrier will operate flights on routes that bypass Moscow and Moscow region. This task was set by the President of the Russian Federation in the Decree No. 204 "On National Goals and Strategic Objectives for the Development of the Russian Federation until 2024" dated May 7, 2018. This will allow increasing the volume of regional air transportation as well as help passengers save time and money on flights between the federal subjects of Russia.
At the moment, the new airline’s team is being formed. Among others, it will include professionals from other S7 Group companies who have extensive work experience and will be able to successfully apply it in the new project.
According to current estimates, the passenger flow of the new airline will amount to approximately 1 million passengers in the first year of its operation, and starting from 2024, it is expected to reach 6-7 million passengers.
S7 Group is the largest private aviation and space holding in Russia that unites companies operating in the field of air transportation, aircraft maintenance, development and implementation of modern software, and exploitation of outer space.