The management of S7 Airlines has announced the launch of its own low-cost airline. It is reported by TASS with reference to the statement of the head of the board of directors and the main shareholder of the company Tatyana Fileva.
According to the company, the first flights of the low-cost airline are scheduled for July 2022, while tickets are expected to go on sale in April.
The name of the carrier is still unknown, it will be presented separately. Nevertheless, Fileva immediately clarified that it would not be a subsidiary structure, but an airline separate from S7, which is being created so that affordable transportation will appear in the regions.
The new low-cost airline will have its own business model and route plan. Since the airline will carry out interregional flights, there are no plans to fly through Moscow and St. Petersburg.
At the same time, the management of S7 noted that a special demand for transportation is observed in Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk and Kazan. Representatives of the company have already begun negotiations with the airports of these cities. Flights to foreign countries are also not excluded.
It is planned to invest about 2.5-3 billion rubles in the new low-cost airline. S7 expects that this amount will pay off in four years.
At the same time, Tatyana Fileva clarified that the creation of this project will not require the company to sell assets, attract borrowed funds or abandon other investment initiatives.
The new company will be headed by Grigory Davydov, who currently works as a strategy director at the S7 Group. It is assumed that the main competitor of the carrier will be the Pobeda airline, which is now the only low-cost airline in Russia.
Kirill Yankov, member of the public council under the Ministry of Transport and chairman of the Russian Passenger Union, in an interview with the newspaper “Newspaper” reported that low-cost airlines cannot be effective in Russia, since the country does not have the necessary infrastructure.
According to him, such companies are successful in Europe, since they land not at major hubs, but at airports near major cities. For example, European low-cost carriers can write that they are flying to Barcelona, but land at the same time in Gerona, which is located 70 kilometers away.
“We cannot use this feature of European low-cost airlines, because we do not have such airports that would be far from the main airport,” he explained and added that S7 had already tried to launch the Globus low-cost airline, but for what for some reason it was closed.