The Domodedovo airport in 2016 handled 28.5 million passengers, 6.5% less than in 2015, the company said. The comparable figure of Vnukovo decreased by 11.4% to 14 million people, said in an interview to Russia 24 Channel the chairman of the board and co-owner of the airport, Vitaly Vantsev.
Among the Moscow airport, the passenger traffic last year grew only in Sheremetyevo: by 8.6% to 34 million people. But its share on the Moscow market exceeded 44%.
Vnukovo and Domodedovo have been losing passengers for almost the entire last year because of falling demand for air travel and "closure" of Ukraine, Turkey and Egypt lost passengers almost all of last year. The fall stopped only in the last few months: Domodedovo increased its passenger traffic in November and December by 3.9 and 3.5% year to year, Vnukovo in October to December by an average of 25%.
"The most favorable situation for further growth in 2017 is in Sheremetyevo, as Aeroflot, which is based there, will continue to increase the presence on the market," says the leading researcher at the Institute of Transport Economics, Fedor Borisov. "It has a very strong position, financial support in the form of Trans-Siberian royalty, the best international rate." In 2015, Aeroflot provided Sheremetyevo 83.4% of its passenger traffic. Borisov's position is shared by CEO of the Airport Agency, Oleg Panteleyev.
However, Sheremetyevo is already close to the limit of terminals (35 million passengers per year), adds Panteleyev. On the other hand, a new terminal with a capacity of 20 million per year should be added by the end of the year.
On Sunday, Aeroflot's representative responded to a question about the company's production plans for this year. His colleague from Sheremetyevo numbers didn't reveal the numbers, but promised that the passenger traffic growth would continue.
Indicators of Vnukovo and Domodedovo will depend on the air transport market. And its growth is far from obvious, continues Borisov. On the one hand, the ruble has strengthened, and the passengers got used to the new conditions of the crisis, but on the other, there are no fundamental factors for growth. Russian airlines have reduced transportation by 3.8% to 88.5 million last year. Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko, predicted that in 2017 figure wouldl return to the level of 2015: 92 million passengers.
The representative of Domodedovo gives no forecasts for this year. Earlier, he said that the airport planned to exceed the pre-crisis level (33 million in 2014) in 2018. The airport's Director of Aviation Marketing, Vyacheslav Grushin, predicts that by 2025 the average annual traffic growth would be 5.8%, as cited by the press -service of Domodedovo: "The drivers would be the growth and recovery of the domestic economy, the removal of administrative restrictions on flights, development of tourist infrastructure of the Russian resorts, and the World Cup 2018".
Vantsev said that Vnukovo would host 16.5 million passengers in 2017.
The Zhukovsky airport, which started its operation in the last year, has not yet reported for 2016. Its spokesman did not disclose details.