Turkish Airlines take quarter-million air traffic from Kazan to Turkey

Turkish airline has launched a charter programme from Kazan to Antalya for the first time, leaving no “room” for competitors

Turkish Airlines take quarter-million air traffic from Kazan to Turkey
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Charter flights to Turkish resorts from Kazan went to Turkish Airlines against the background of sanctions against Russian air carriers. Since April 28, the airline has supplied two Airbus A321 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft, becoming the only carrier to the coast of Antalya. In the second half of May, it is planned to launch flights to Bodrum and Dalaman. According to Kazan travel agents, Aeroflot, which has set prices twice lower, can compete with the air carrier on the Moscow market.

To Turkish resorts

Almost the entire volume of tourist charters from Kazan to Turkey, which were previously carried out by Russian carriers Azur Air and Royal Flight, this season may go to Turkish Airlines. In the summer flight schedule, the company received slots not only for regular flights to Istanbul, but also for the first time embarked on charter lines.

“Turkish Airlines has launched a major programme of charter tourist flights from Kazan to Antalya," the press service of Kazan International Airport reported. “Flights are carried out on airliners with increased carrying capacity — Airbus A321 and Boeing 737-800 (from 180 to 200 seats).

The frequency of flights is quite intense. Departures are carried out twice a day for 7 days a week. The liners will fly twice a day until the end of the tourist season. Moreover, the flagship airline is clearly not going to miss a rare opportunity to increase the flight programme. “At the end of May, it is planned to increase the frequency of departures to three times a day," the airport notes.

At the same time, it is planned to expand the geography of charter flights. “In the second half of May, it is planned to launch flights to Bodrum and Dalaman," the IAC press service added. Thus, Turkish Airlines may not leave room for other carriers to enter these routes during the summer season. The press service of the airport confirmed to Realnoe Vremya that the Turkish airline is still the only one in this direction of flights.

However, direct flights from Russia to resorts in other foreign countries are prohibited, so the Turkish air carrier has received a real carte blanche. According to the estimates of representatives of Kazan travel agencies, about 200-250 thousand residents of the republic rest in Turkey every year. At the same time, the airline continued to operate regular flights on the Kazan-Istanbul-Kazan route in the same mode (three times a week).

Russian airlines have reoriented their fleet to Sochi and Crimea

The strengthening of the Turkish carrier's position took place against the background of anti-Russian sanctions. After the start of the special operation In Ukraine, the Bermuda aviation authorities suspended the validity of certificates of airworthiness of aircraft of Russian airlines that operated them on leasing terms from March 13. According to various estimates, the ban on operation affected 730-770 aircraft with Bermuda registration out of a total fleet of more than 980 aircraft.

Some airlines started the process of re-registering their aircraft in the Russian registry, among them Nord Wind and Pegas Fly. The only passenger airline that stopped flights by March 13 was the charter carrier Royal Flight, which operated flights of the tour operator Coral Travel. Royal Flight returned the aircraft at the request of the Irish lessor AerCap. As a result, the summer programme of the Kazan airport to the Black Sea resorts has undergone significant changes. Almost all Russian airlines have reoriented their air fleet to the resorts of the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai and Crimea.

Struggle of aviation giants on Moscow market

The only one who can compete with Turkish Airlines is Russian Aeroflot, but only from the Moscow air hub.

“On May 6, Aeroflot announced the start of flights to resorts in Turkey. Moreover, they set low prices — from 16 thousand rubles there and back. It is almost twice as expensive from Kazan to Antalya," Leonid Press, CEO and co-founder of STEN company, told Realnoe Vremya.

According to him, the tourist market is shocked by such prices and cannot yet find an explanation for this. The Turkish carrier also announced flights from Moscow.

Aeroflot will not be able to bring down the “Turkish” prices in the regions, since the airline giant itself is going to fly only from Moscow. Realnoe Vremya has requested the Aeroflot press service, but has not yet received a response.

It should be noted that the Turkish authorities have long been thinking about expanding their presence in the Russian aviation market. The country is creating a new airline for the transportation of tourists from Russia called Southwind, which will be based in Antalya. The fleet consists of five Airbus aircraft: three wide-body and two narrow-body, and the first flights are scheduled to launch at the end of May.

Forecast of tour operators: Kazan residents will go to the sea on their own

Representatives of the tourism business of Kazan confirm that the cost of the flight in the cost of the tour has increased significantly, and this may scare away the mass tourist.

“If earlier in May it was possible to fly for 70 thousand for two, now for 110 thousand," tour operators say.

On average, flights have risen in price by 250 euros, while the cost of hotel accommodation has remained the same, Leonid Press noted. He himself bought tickets from Kazan to Antalya and back for 450 euros for a business trip. According to his estimate, it is twice as expensive as before the pandemic.

At the same time, available places in Russian resorts have long been booked, and the rest, for example, in the Kavminvody sanatoriums has equaled the price of the Czech resort of Karlovy Vary. According to forecasts of travel agencies, Kazan residents will prefer to stay at home or go to the sea on their own by private car.

Luiza Ignatyeva