Posted 1 марта 2022, 07:47
Published 1 марта 2022, 07:47
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Hubs in the Emirates, Qatar and Turkey remain open. But flights through them are already insanely expensive and no one knows how long they will stay open.
In response, Russia imposed a mirror ban on flights by European airlines over its territory.
Switzerland, however, makes an exception for flights for humanitarian, medical and diplomatic purposes. Lavrov's visit to Geneva for a session of the UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament, however, was canceled due to a personal ban on the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry from flying over Europe, the Russian permanent mission in Geneva said today.
Australia also announced its readiness to close the sky for Russia today. The United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry fired a "warning shot", calling for an immediate de-escalation of tensions. Sanctions for disobedience were not stipulated, a bad sign.
What follows from all this?
“It’s time to admit it: travel will not be as we remember it. And we won’t be able to write so much about cool cheap options to drive somewhere, because there simply won’t be any.
All we can do now is keep you informed about the current travel environment.
Instead of tours - news and reference and rescue information. Well, one-way tickets, respectively. Such are the times, ”Wandrowki, a popular public for travelers, informs.
Service for the selection of cheap air tickets Aviasales today published the following cheat sheet for its tourists:
“If a miracle happened and you managed to buy euros at least at some exchange rate and planned to visit Europe, then you will not be able to fly with Russian airlines further than Kaliningrad and Belarus. You will not get to any EU country or the UK. All these countries have closed their airspace to the ships of the Russian fleet”, - comments political blogger Alexander Gorbunov.
The relative winners are the airlines of Asian and Arab countries, which are still allowed to fly over the territory of Russia and over the territory of the European Union. But due to forced overflights, routes to the Middle East and Asia for Western companies will become longer by at least 60 minutes, and therefore more expensive.
Aeroflot will suffer significantly. The company will not receive a significant amount of money, experts comment. The reason is that after the collapse of the USSR, the system of payments for flights over the territory of Siberia remained unchanged, and Aeroflot has always been and still is the only recipient of all funds for the depreciation of this airspace. Officially, the size of these payments is not disclosed anywhere, but it is already clear that the piggy bank of the country's main air carrier will be significantly empty. What amounts are we talking about? Vedomosti sources estimated the annual amount at 300-500 million dollars a year, the European Commission at 420 million dollars, Kommersant estimated that it was about 600-800 million dollars a year.
For the final understanding: even if you have euros and dollars and you dug up a country to which you can still fly, for example, Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates or Vietnam, you will most likely have nothing to fly on.
On February 26, the European Union banned the sale of European aircraft, spare parts and equipment to Russian airlines. Under contracts that were concluded before February 26, 2022, deliveries will be able to continue for only a month - until March 28.
Sanctions were also imposed on ships leased by Russia. Aircraft must be returned to the lessor within a month. What share, do you think, of the leased boards? This is half of the entire Russian fleet!
Under the ban - civil aviation Airbus. Of the top 20 Russian companies that transport, or until recently transported, 97% of passenger traffic in the country, half use Airbus.
Aeroflot has 117 Airbas aircraft in its fleet, S7 has 66, Ural Airlines has 54. The latter have 100% of the fleet, that is, Ural Airlines will have to return all 54 aircraft within a month.
Boeing today, without warning, restricted access to technical documentation to Russian operators, sources told Ateo Breaking. Without documentation and spare parts, these boards will last at least 3 days, then, for safety reasons, they must be sent to the parking lot.
In addition to all this, the EU has banned the provision of any insurance / reinsurance services to Russia, as well as repair and modification services.
All this, translated into human language, means that in a matter of days we will be able to fly, if there is somewhere to fly, only on domestic aircraft. But here there is a nuance. The lion's share of components for Russian aircraft is supplied, that is, supplied by European companies!
What will happen to civil aviation?
The imposed sanctions are a deafening blow for the airlines themselves and for the travel companies that charter the planes.
Prices will increase, among other things, due to the maintenance of new extended bypass routes.
A halving of fleets will inevitably lead to a reduction in employees. Thousands of people will be out of work.
If sanctions are imposed for a long time, many Russian airlines, already bled dry by the coronavirus vacuum, will cease to exist.
What does all this mean for us mere mortal consumers?
The ticket price consists of two parts: the fare and taxes.
The fare is the cost of the flight, which is set by the air carrier. It depends on the airline's policy, route length, booking class and season. The longer the route, the higher the demand and class, the higher the price. Taxes - fees for aircraft maintenance: fuel, insurance, service. This includes government taxes and charges for the fuel itself.
With a probability of 99.99%, Russians are waiting for a sharp increase in the cost of air tickets, since the rise in price will affect both tariffs and taxes, emphasizes Alexander Gorbunov.
Former aircraft commander, flight safety specialist Alexander Romanov comments on the situation as follows:
“Tickets will go up. We already have a high demand for tickets to hot countries, and the prices are very serious. But if you fly to Kamchatka, to the North, people simply cannot go there, because even with government subsidies, the prices are still huge. And now they will double at least”.
If someone thinks - well, to hell with him, they haven’t flown anywhere before and won’t fly the same number again, we will disappoint you. Closing the sky will hit you from the other side. Airplanes are not only a passenger flow, but also cargo.
Tariffs will rise for goods deprived of alternative transportation.
Tariffs will rise for all goods delivered not only by air, but also by rail and water. It's all about the monopolization of transportation.
If earlier Russian Railways had a competitor and at least some kind of deterrent - aviation, now the railways will remain alone on the market.
As soon as air fares soar, tickets for freight and passenger rail transportation will automatically rise to this level.
Aviation expert Grigory Smirnov made an overview of the remaining lye in the Iron Curtain for travelers for NI.
After the events of Black February, all trips abroad can be divided into three categories, depending on the purpose of the trip.
Tourism is active and package. There are few countries left for him, but they exist. For a beach holiday - Maldives, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey. The skiing niche is difficult, but this market replaces the Caucasus with a stretch, and Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia are also open for the time being.
South America - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru are not available. There is no way to fly there, there are no charters. Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic are open, you can get there, but there are no charters, and regular flights will now cost crazy money.
Departures in order to seek political asylum, to relatives or for treatment. Here the options remain. The European space is closed, but there is a loophole: Serbia left the sky open for Russia, and accordingly Russia was not closed for Serbian airlines. A paradoxical situation: Russian airlines cannot fly there, because they cannot cross the closed space, while the Serbian company AirSerbia can fly to Russia from Belgrade. On the terms of a monopoly, of course, they will fight at exorbitant rates, but there is still such an opportunity to get to Europe. You can fly to Belgrade, then there are plenty of options, for example, a night bus to Vienna, and from there fly in all directions. But it is not known how long the Serbs will hold out in this sense.
The second option is also risky, of course. Istanbul - Turkey also remains open. The Turkish Airlines route network is huge and covers the whole world. But due to the fact that everyone is now piled on the carrying capacity of Turkish Airlines , and the load is huge, the prices are also insane. In addition, from Wednesday, the exchange rate for calculating air tickets has changed - as the rate has increased, air tickets will also rise in price by at least 20%. This, of course, is another barrage. A ticket St. Petersburg-Istanbul-Barcelona already cost an incredible 60 thousand rubles one way yesterday and there are no other options, last week it cost 15 thousand rubles. Turkey also threatens, not for the first time, to close the Bosporus and Dardanelles, and if this happens, Russia's response could be to interrupt air traffic for an unknown amount of time.
Another still available direction. Emirat e s today fly at least twice a day from Domodedovo and once a day from Pulkovo. The route network is also all over the world, you can choose a successful connection and fly wherever you want, but again, this will cost incredible money.
Qatar Airways (headquartered in Doha) flies twice a day from Sheremetyevo, they still have affordable fares to Asia. But now, too, due to the fact that the world is closing, and the remaining corridors are just a few, this airline will also, of course, raise prices.
Life hack for those stuck in Europe: if you flew to Europe and got stuck there, for example, there was a one-way ticket or a return flight was canceled, keep in mind: for now, there are three options to return. It is impossible to enter the Schengen zone along the land border without special reasons, but they cannot help letting you out of Europe. A great option is to fly to Helsinki, Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga and then by bus, bla-bla-car or St. Petersburg Allegro train to get to Russia. So far, this is a relatively inexpensive option to return home, while these routes have not yet been blocked. From Rome in this way, for example, you can return to Russia not by expensive connections in Istanbul or Dubai, but through Helsinki. Air ticket Rome - Helsinki about 5 thousand rubles, plus then a direct bus to St. Petersburg. This option is vulnerable to the fact that at any moment this part of the border can be closed.
Poland is also a border country, but one should not take risks with it. There are also many inexpensive air flights to Gdansk from European cities, from there it was earlier possible to move to Kaliningrad by minibus, and from there fly to Moscow in two hours. But Poland officially, even if you have a European vaccination and a visa, but no citizenship, has banned transit. Here you can run into.
Summary: the iron curtain has, of course, descended, but there are “holes” for escape.
Air travel differs greatly from the old life: it is very expensive, there are risks of not returning back or getting stuck somewhere, complete uncertainty about what will happen in a few days. Everything is changing rapidly.
Departure by land transport to Europe is virtually unavailable. Road and foot borders are still closed. For example, in order to cross the border with Finland and move from there to Europe, one needs a weighty reason: it is either a residence permit or close relatives living abroad. The rules were introduced during the pandemic and have not yet been canceled.
What else is worth saying? The gaps are narrow and even they completely depend on how events in Ukraine develop further.
If it comes to carpet bombing by the Russian army or, God forbid, a nuclear strike happens, then even airlines loyal to Russia will cancel transportation, then a complete blockade will come.