German Budget Airline Eurowings to Leave Russian Market

Eurowings

German budget airline Eurowings is pulling out of the Russian market, the Kommersant newspaper reported Friday.

At the end of October, Eurowings will cease operating in Russia for “economic reasons,” Kommersant reported, citing a Eurowings representative. “The route has not met the company’s high expectations,” he said.

Alternative solutions are being looked into for passengers holding Eurowings tickets for the fall-winter period starting in November, Kommersant reported.

Eurowings — whose parent company Lufthansa Group is based in Dusseldorf — began flying six flights weekly from Moscow to Berlin in October 2015.

The company entered the Russian market after Air Berlin, European Scandinavian Airlines System (ESAS) and Etihad Airways announced they were ending flights to Russia from January 2016, with Air Berlin citing “falling demand.”

The sharp fall in demand for flights between Russia and Germany came two years ago on the back of decreasing demand from business customers, with tourist travel remaining more or less the same, Kommersant reported, citing Denis Valeev, a representative of travel website poroshok.ru.

“The most popular destinations are Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf, where business is concentrated,” Valeev said, adding that business travel to Germany was up 10 percent in 2015.

The Russian air travel industry is going through a difficult time, with international air travel from Russia — excluding to former Soviet states — falling 18.6 percent in 2015, according to Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.

International flights out of Moscow operated by foreign carriers fell 17.6 percent in 2015 while international flights out of Russia decreased almost 30 percent between January and June, Kommersant reported.

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