Airline ticket prices for international flights into and out of Russia were hiked by 12.5 percent in the early hours of Wednesday to adjust for the plummeting value of the ruble currency, the country's Association of Tour Operators reported.
Airlines have not raised tariffs, Dmitry Gorin, vice president of the tour operators' association, said in a statement — the ruble, which has lost one-third of its value this year, is to blame.
Air fare price inflation is becoming endemic: In November, ticket prices were up 17 percent year-on-year, online booking company Biletix said earlier this week.
Kirill Faminsky, head of the Pososhok airline ticket sales agency, told news agency RIA Novosti this week that the weakening ruble could raise ticket prices for international flights by 25 to 30 percent this month.
However, price adjustments have not always kept up with the pace of ruble declines, and bargains are still to be found when buying ticket in Russian currency.
The ruble is under pressure from Western sanctions and the falling price of oil, Russia's key export.
If the oil prices stabilize, so will the ruble and airline tickets may become cheaper, Gorin said.
Meanwhile, growing prices and the uncertainty over the exchange rate of the ruble has been curbing demand for outbound foreign tourism in Russia, analysts said.
Faminsky said demand for trips abroad for the New Year holidays could fall by as much as 40 percent if the ruble continued to depreciate at the current pace.
At the same time demand for airline tickets is growing within the country. According to Russia's tour operators association, the number of passengers choosing domestic flights has grown almost 15 percent in October compared with the same period last year.