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Ryanair to Begin Flights to Russia in March 2014

The Irish low-cost carrier's entry to the Russian market comes a year after EasyJet. Andrew W. Sieber

Irish budget airline Ryanair could open new routes connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg with Dublin early next year.

Ireland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the airline had gained permission to fly in the country in a note published on the Russian Federal Air Transportation Agency's site Monday. However, Ryanair's communications chief, Robin Kiely, told Vedomosti that the company was negotiating with a number of Russian airports and talk of a start date for flights was premature.

The most likely departure point for Moscow-Dublin flights is Domodedovo Airport, where it will join British budget airline EasyJet, which began flights to London and Manchester, England, earlier this year. An airport spokesman confirmed that negotiations with Ryanair had taken place but did not comment on their results, Prime reported.

The new routes could boost the numbers of Russian travelers in Western Europe. The arrival of a new low-cost airline to the market can generate a 35 percent increase in traffic to nearby destinations, in this case places like London or Paris, head of the Federal Air Transportation Agency's analytical department, Oleg Panteleyev, said. "However,” he said, “considering Ryanair's aggressive behavior on the market, the effect may be greater."

Last year, Ryanair, Europe's largest low-coster, served 116.7 million passengers, 1.6 times more than the total number of passengers served by all Russian airlines combined.

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