Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Russian airline unveils Moscow to Dublin route

Irish Independent

Friday September 28 2007

Jason Corcoran in Moscow

RUSSIAN airline S7 is to launch a route from Moscow to Dublin from April next year in response to growing demand from tourists and businessmen in both countries.

The airline, formerly Siberian Airlines, will fly three times a week from Moscow's Domodevo Airport to Dublin Airport.

Economy fares will be pitched at about €250 return plus taxes, while business class passengers will be charged €1,000 for the four-hour flight.

Dimitry Chukseyev, S7 corporate communications manager in Moscow, said their research indicated the service could initially attract a 70pc load factor on their 170-seater Airbus 319.

He said: "It's an obvious gap in the market because no one else is flying direct between the two cities. Russians are travelling everywhere throughout Europe after decades of having to stay at home. Their incomes have shot up and they want to see the green grass and taste the real Guinness.

"Irish businessmen in Moscow are grateful because they won't have to face hours waiting in Heathrow for a connection home any more."

A Russian-Irish airline Skynet was set up in 2001 to fly from Dublin to Moscow via Amsterdam. The service was under a code-sharing agreement with Russian state airline Aeroflot, but trading was suspended due to financial difficulties.

S7, Russia 's second largest airline in terms of passenger numbers, has grown from a regional to a federal air carrier, serving 150 domestic destinations and a growing list of international airports. The Russian state owns a 25pc stake.

The airline is believed to be in the early stages of talks with Aer Lingus about a possible partnership whereby their passengers could connect to US routes cheaply.


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