New Key Directions of International Flights as S7 Airlines Natural Growth Factor
On October 11, formal letters were forwarded to the Ministry of Transport and Rosaviation requesting the initiation of negotiations with the Government of France on reviewing provisions of Agreement on Air Transport between two countries with respect to increase in the quantity of designated carriers, as well as increase in possible number of flights between Russia and France capitals. According to S7 Airlines opinion, this would allow creating competitive conditions resulting in decrease of tariffs, increase in services rendered quality, as well as enable passengers to select the airport as a starting point for their journey.
Also, in connection with the effectiveness of RF Government Regulation dated 23.07.2007 No. 397 “On Licensing Air Transport Carriages and Air Transport Cargo Carriages, as well as on Improvement of Government Regulation of Air Carrier’s Activity in Air Carriage Sphere”, there were proposals prepared and forwarded to the Minister of Transport of Russia concerning the procedure for access of airlines as designated air carriers, to performing international air carriages.
According to S7 opinion, upon uniform licensing introduction, it shall be necessary to develop a new algorithm for distributing rights to perform flights already available for the RF, at international routes, that would in first instance meet the interests of all Russian passengers. This means that the procedure for air carriers’ access should be objective and transparent to the maximum extent, and rights distribution should be performed by an interdepartmental commission composed of, besides Rosaviation, federal state power authorities concerned: Ministry of Transport of Russia, Ministry for Economic Development of Russia, Federal Antimonopoly Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Rosaeronavigation.
Airline immediate plans provide for the start of regular flights to Ireland, yet from the beginning of 2008 summer schedule. S7-887/888 flights en route Moscow — Dublin — Moscow shall be performed with a thrice per week frequency (Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays). It is also planned to start flights to the capital of Spain — Madrid. There are negotiations under way currently with the airport on slots allocation.
New international flights shall also begin in performance not from Moscow only, but from other Russian regions either. A winter program of direct flights to the most well-known resorts of South-East Asia — Hainan island (China)shall be opened from Novosibirsk, and regular flights shall begin in performance from Sochi to Istanbul.
For supporting the rendered services quality at the highest level, S7 Airlines has their own representative offices actually in all cities whereto flights are performed. Recently, a decision was taken by the Board of Directors on opening new representative offices of the airline in Dublin (Irish Republic), Tivat (Republic of Montenegro) and Kishinev (Republic of Moldova).
Presently, the international flights share in S7 Airlines schedule amounts to 20%. Regular flights are performed to Germany (30 flights per week), China (20 flights per week), Bulgaria (up to 5 flights per week) and Thailand (up to 4 flights per week), as well as chartered flights to Spain, Turkey, Egypt, France, UAE, Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, Italy and other countries. Moreover, S7 Airlines is a leading carrier among Russia and CIS states, performing flights to Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
In the end of September, S7 Airlines received an official IATA notification on airline including to IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) register of operators and became the second air-carrier in Russia having successfully passed the entire procedure of international audit on compliance with operational safety standards. This event is undoubtedly a guarantee of successful implementation of S7 Airlines plans for developing international flights and cooperation with leading international air carriers.
In 2007, S7 Airlines continued the implementation of its air fleet renewal program designed for the next 7 years. There were several major contracts concluded within such program framework woth leading world manufacturers of civil aviation techniques, Boeing and Airbus, for new airplanes purchase:
|»||25 Airbus А320, supply commencement — 2009;|
|»||10 Boeing 737-800, supply commencement — 2010;|
|»||15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner, supply commencement — 2014 (the airline would become the first Russian operator of these most up-to-date planes).|
There were also operational leasing agreements concluded with ILFC company for 4 new Airbus А320 planes (delivery — in early 2008) and with Cramington leasing company — for 9 Airbus А319 planes.