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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why from Kaliningrad and cities of the Far East so hard to fly

Hot vacation time is time to get a plane ticket and go to some distant resort. However, for most of the inhabitants of different Russian regions Kaliningrad oblast and far East, these plans often remain inaccessible. To date, the situation with air transport is close to depressing. The regional authorities do not actively deal with the problems of transport policy, and as a result can get to the fact that people simply can not go on vacation. Cheap tickets have become a rarity for the lucky ones, dismantled too quickly, and can afford to buy expensive tickets and premium business class in the current economic climate are few.

photo: pixabay.com

These two regions — the Western and the most Eastern in the country differ markedly in their geographical and economic position, but problems with the air travel they are similar. After the bankruptcy and withdrawal from the market dempingovali carrier Transaero transport and regional authorities, most likely, not particularly trying to attract new players in the regional aviation market. And affordable rates is definitely not enough.

The media wrote about the fact that Kaliningrad seasonal demand for tickets led to the fact that the flight in economy class in Moscow and St Petersburg flights began to do almost more expensive than business class. In the far East carriers flying to Central Russia, and did reduce their routes. For example, from flights to Kamchatka has refused the company “UTair”.

Meanwhile, in other Russian regions the problem of cheap flights is not as prevalent. It is obvious that the outlying regions need to create conditions for development of competition in air transport and reduce the cost of operations of its inhabitants. But the leadership of the far Eastern Federal district and the Kaliningrad region, apparently, prefers to wait for help in addressing these challenges from the Federal government. They probably would be worth to pay attention to international practice, particularly in the American experience.

One good example is the U.S. program of subsidizing regional flights Essential AirService. Within its framework through the U.S. Department of transportation (US DOT) for 40 years, distributed subsidies to airlines flying to small towns. And subsidies benefit commercially unattractive routes, which would not have been able to achieve regular air service without government subsidies. This program successfully operates in 32 States the main territory of the country and in Hawaii and Alaska. It applies to flights to more than 150 locations across the country.

The role of local authorities in improving the transport situation demonstrates Wyoming is a vast mountainous region in the Western United States. The local Department of transportation has a specific division for air traffic involved in program support air transportation (AirService Enhancement Program). While the state legislature regularly makes grants to air service.

The necessity of all these measures in the case of Wyoming dictate the sparse population and vast territory of the state. Due to commercial air travel in the state receive support from local authorities, and key areas of air travel funded through various grants.

But let’s get back to domestic realities, and will examine two typical examples of relations between local authorities and airlines. This winter in Kaliningrad flew the Russian budget carrier “Victory”. However, when between him and the Kaliningrad airport “Hrabrovo” there was a dispute, the regional administration, the airline has not supported “Victory” had to leave the region. Now, in high season, when hotels are full, the Kaliningrad simply not enough planes to cope with the influx of tourists. If the regional administration is thinking ahead about the future, the problem would not have been nearly so great.

The second example is the diametrically opposed properties. The leadership of the Republic not only has to meet the needs of their citizens by organizing a direct flight Kazan—Frankfurt, but also found in the regional budget funds for subsidies in the amount of 30 million rubles. As they say, conclusions about the effectiveness of control make for yourself.

So maybe a few of the outlying authorities instead rely on the government, too, should actively promote similar projects and to provide assistance to the carriers? In the end, one of their direct tasks, set by the President, is to provide accessibility and mobility.

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