“Russia is an important core market for airberlin and NIKI and forms part of our strategy for Eastern Europe. We are very pleased that our stable market position in Russia is steadily developing and we have plans to consolidate further in this area. The number of flight guests we have carried over recent years has increased constantly as we have expanded the number of flights we offer: last year around 740,000 guests flew with airberlin and NIKI on routes between Germany, Austria and Russia,” said Paul Gregorowitsch, Chief Commercial Officer for airberlin, at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday. He went on to say:
“Also flight guests from Russia are using our international route network in increasing numbers and transferring in Berlin, Dusseldorf and Vienna to connecting flights bound for destinations further afield.”
Since 2009 airberlin and NIKI have been operating codeshare flights with their oneworld® partner S7. “The partnership has proved highly successful. airberlin offers 109 flights a week under S7 flight numbers. Flight guests travelling to Russia have the option of booking up to 400 connecting flights a week with S7, for example via Moscow to Novosibirsk or Irkutsk,” said Paul Gregorowitsch.
In addition airberlin has restructured its sales team in Russia. Julia Vorotnikova (42), along with her team of four colleagues, is responsible for sales activities in Russia and reports to Mohammed Nasr, Area Manager Eastern Europe.
airberlin and NIKI, its Austrian partner, have been operating flights from Germany and Austria to Russia since 2006 and 2007 respectively, and steadily developing their route network. In summer 2006 there were just 19 flights each week, while in summer 2013 there will be up to 70 airberlin and NIKI flights a week scheduled to Russia.
airberlin operates up to two nonstop flights a day from Berlin, Dusseldorf and Munich to Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad; it is the only airline in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to offer the latter service. As of 27th April 2013 an additional daily service from Vienna to Moscow is available for booking (subject to government approval). NIKI will then operate two flights a day to the Russian capital.