Posted 2 февраля 10:55

Published 2 февраля 10:55

Modified 2 февраля 11:05

Updated 2 февраля 11:05

Kommersant: the Federal Air Transport Agency is discussing flights to Africa with airlines

2 февраля 2023, 10:55
According to Kommersant sources, Rosaviation is interviewing Russian airlines for readiness to organize direct flights with Nepal and a number of African countries: South Africa (Pretoria), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

"During January, the agency sent telegrams to carriers with questions about whether they are interested in direct flights to South Africa (Pretoria), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as Nepal", - Kommersant reports.

According to an agency source close to the Ministry of Transport, the idea was also discussed at a meeting with airlines, but "concrete initiatives" have not been received at the moment. He also notes that the issue of guarantees for dual-registration aircraft has not yet been raised, but "this may happen at the next stage".

The interlocutors of the publication in the two airlines stressed their readiness to consider any destinations, but only with guarantees of the safety of double-registered aircraft. At the same time, direct flights to East and South Africa can be organized only with the help of long-haul airliners, and Russian airlines have only about 120 such aircraft at their disposal (Airbus 330 and A350, Boeing 747, 767 and 777). According to another source, it is unlikely that carriers will remove "cleaned" planes from "popular and profitable Turkey, Egypt and Thailand." He also pointed out that many African countries are integrated into the Western economy, so most likely they will not risk accepting "uncleaned" airliners from the Russian Federation.

The agency's interlocutors also consider insufficient commercial load to be a serious problem of these "non-mass directions". Dmitry Gorin, Vice-president of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, believes that today "both airlines and passengers are looking for new points of attraction." He noted that almost all of these destinations have prospects for tourism growth. The expert drew attention to the fact that reducing the number of available countries from the "docklike" 69 to 32 can increase the attractiveness of the most unexpected destinations. So, 6.4 thousand Russians visited Zanzibar in 2019, according to the FSB border service, in 2020 — almost 50 thousand, and in 2021 — already 82 thousand people.