Pulkovo St. Petersburg Airport reveals best airlines of 2018

Northern Capital Gateway, the operator of Pulkovo St. Petersburg Airport, announces the best airlines of 2018. Carriers are awarded for their contribution to increase in passenger traffic, development of the route network and transfer service at Pulkovo Airport. The winners in 11 nominations were revealed at the annual LED Together ceremony on January 25, 2019.

Best Route Network Developing Carrier: S7 Airlines.

The carrier continues to expand its presence in St. Petersburg market. In 2018, the route network of S7 Airlines at Pulkovo received 11 new destinations. The airline provides scheduled service from St. Petersburg to 21 destinations, including domestic and international routes. In 2019, the carrier plans to operate new flights from Pulkovo to Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona (Spain), Nice (France), Anapa, and Irkutsk (Russia). In 2018, S7 Airlines served 1.4 million passengers in St. Petersburg, which is 20% more compared to the result of 2017. The number of take-offs and landings grew by 3,000 operations.

Fastest Growing Carrier 100,000-500,000 pax: Red Wings.

In 2018, the carrier served 382,000 passengers at Pulkovo, which is 95,1% more than in 2017. The number of take-offs and landings increased by 1,000 operations. Throughout the year, Red Wings performed flights from St. Petersburg to 11 destinations, including popular resort cities in Russia like Krasnodar, Simferopol, and Sochi.

Fastest Growing Carrier 10,000-100,000 pax: China Eastern Airlines.

In 2018, the airline welcomed 60,000, which is 76% more than in 2017. The number of take-offs and landings grew by more than 150 operations. In 2018, China Eastern Airlines launched a new Chinese route from Pulkovo — Xi’an. Additionally, throughout the year the carrier performed flights from St. Petersburg to Shanghai.

Best Contribution to Transfer Development: Rossiya Airlines.

The transfer traffic of Pulkovo Airport’s home base carrier exceeded 467,000 passengers. The route network of Rossiya Airlines at St. Petersburg airport includes over 40 flight destinations. Offering convenient transfer at Pulkovo, the carrier effectively connects points of Europe with Russian cities. Rossiya Airlines performs flights from St. Petersburg on various aircraft types, including the wide-body Boeing 777 and Boeing 747.

Best Developing International Carrier: Finnair.

In 2018, the airline served 144,000 passengers at Pulkovo, which is 43.3% more than in 2017. The number of take-offs and landings increased by more than 190 operations. In 2018, the carrier operated three flights a day and changed the aircraft type from ATR 72 to Embraer 190, increasing the seating capacity by a third. The carrier offers convenient connections via Helsinki to the points of North and South America, Asia and Oceania. At the end of March 2019, Finnair plans to launch the fourth daily flight from Pulkovo.

Best Developing Regional Carrier: Azimuth.

The airline started flights from Pulkovo in October 2017. In 2018, the carrier served 166,000 passengers in St. Petersburg. The number of take-offs and landings amounted to 1950 operations. In 2018, Azimuth launched two new scheduled routes to the Russian cities of Grozny and Stavropol. Direct service from St. Petersburg to Stavropol had not been operated since the end of 2013. The carrier’s route network at Pulkovo currently features four destinations, including Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don. Azimuth operates flights from St. Petersburg on modern Russian aircraft Sukhoi Superjet 100.

Best Developing CIS Carrier: Uzbekistan Airways.

In 2018, the airline served at Pulkovo 240,000 passengers, which is 14,5% more than in 2017. The number of take-offs and landings increased by more than 110 operations. The carrier operated scheduled flights from St. Petersburg to eight points of Uzbekistan. The flights from Pulkovo are performed on comfortable airliners, including one of the most advanced types of wide-body aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Best Developing Newcomer: Qatar Airways.

The carrier started to operate flights from the capital of the State of Qatar, Doha, to St. Petersburg on December 19, 2017. In 2018, the airline served at Pulkovo 66,000 passengers and performed 730 take-offs and landings. With just one connection in Doha, travelers from St. Petersburg can reach the most popular as well as most remote points in South East Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, North and South America.

Best Developing New Destination: Sichuan Airlines.

In January 2018, the airline launched scheduled flights from Pulkovo to the capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan, Chengdu. The service is performed on a year-round basis. In 2018, Sichuan Airlines served at Pulkovo 32,000 passengers and performed around 200 take-off and landing operations. Scheduled service between St. Petersburg and Chengdu contributes to the significant growth of inbound tourist flow from China.

Best Route Revival: Air Malta.

In March 2018, the carrier resumed scheduled seasonal flights between St. Petersburg and Malta. The service had not been operated since 2015. The route is in great demand among tourists, as well as students traveling to Malta to learn English. In 2018, Air Malta served at Pulkovo more than 10,500 passengers and performed 110 take-off and landing operations.

Best Development of Tourist Routes: Azur Air.

In 2018, the carrier’s performed flights from St. Petersburg to 16 destinations, including such unique long-haul routes as Varadero (Cuba), Casa de Campo, Punta Cana (The Dominican Republic). Performing an extensive flight program throughout the year, Azur Air served more than 400,000 passengers at Pulkovo, which is 49.5% more than in 2017, and completed 1,700 takeoff and landing operations.

All winners received awards from Pulkovo Airport and gifts from the partners of the event. These were the leading Russian travel search engine Aviasales.ru; social network for tourists and travelers TourOut.ru; online entertainment guide to St. Petersburg Peterburg2.ru; online newspaper NEVA.TODAY, popular portal about events and places in St. Petersburg KudaGo, the largest service for package tours search in Russia Sletat.ru, the leading international flight booking service for independent travelers Kiwi.com.

Northern Capital Gateway holds the annual LED Together Awards at the end of January, celebrating the success of airlines from the preceding year. The ceremony traditionally brings together representatives of carriers, tourist and transport authorities of St. Petersburg, partners of Pulkovo Airport. Over two hundred guests attended the 7th LED Together.