For online booking platform Avinode, Russia and the CIS remain one of the busiest markets. Senior Commercial Manager Gustav Andreasen takes a big-picture look at this vibrant market.
"There’s no question that the US is by far the world’s largest business aviation market – having three to four times as many business flights than the rest of the world. On the other side of the spectrum are the emerging markets in Africa and Asia, where numbers remain quite low. But right in the middle of these two is Russia, which is what I want to focus on today.
Granted, as a result of a decrease in traffic between Moscow and Kiev, the Russian market has seen a net decrease this year. However, when analyzing this market we need to step back from the immediate and look towards the big picture.
Since 2009 our index shows a steady increase in requests. We also see is a season-based trend in bookings, with requests increasing substantially during the holiday months. What we can understand from this is that there is a strong correlation between where people fly and where they invest their money or leisure time. Thus, in Russia, people are flying to such financial hubs as Geneva, Dubai and London or such holiday destinations as Nice. In comparison, in the US requests tend to flow between commercial hubs, such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia."
"In terms of types of aircraft being requested, the Russian market definitely favors the heavier aircraft over light jets. In other words, Russia is not a light jet market, and is why many foreign operators place their heavy aircraft in Moscow. Not surprisingly, our most requested aircraft is the large cabin Legacy 600.
Moscow also remains the key business aviation hub for the country, with five times as many flights originating from the capital than from the rest of Russia. The only exception to this was during the Winter Olympics, when Sochi enjoyed a substantial increase.
In summary, when one steps back and takes a big picture view of the Russian market it becomes clear that private aviation remains strong – a trend that I fully expect to see continue into 2015."