Airlines are eliminating flights to and from cities in Russia. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Delta Air Lines, EasyJet, Cathay Pacific, Air India, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Czech Airlines are all among carriers that have either eliminated or will be eliminating flights to and from cities in Russia, including Moscow, according to Bloomberg Business.
Why It Matters:
As Russia’s political isolation swells and the value of the ruble continues to degrade, the country’s tourism industry is also taking a hit. The number of Russians traveling internationally has fallen as well — by more than 50 percent, according to a spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Industry Union. Airlines have taken notice, responding to the lack of demand by trimming service. This includes Delta Air Lines’ recent announcement of suspending service to Moscow from the U.S. this October through December.
- Delta currently flies five times per week between New York City and Moscow (compared to seven times per week in 2014).
- After filling an average of 47 percent of seats on its Delhi to Moscow route, Air India decreased its service to two flights per week in February.
- Cathay Pacific will end service to Moscow in June.
What They Are Saying:
“Concurrently, we have been relocating the capacity freed in the Russian market, which has been experiencing a significant drop in demand for travel to the Czech Republic and Europe,” said Jozef Sincak, chairman of the Czech Airlines Board of Directors.
“EasyJet can confirm that from [Jan. 26], it reduced its double daily London Gatwick to Moscow service to 11 services per week for the remainder of the winter schedule and then to a daily service for the summer season,” said a representative for EasyJet. “This was in response to the reduction in demand to and from Russia in recent months.”