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  Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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The total number of passengers of foreign airlines operating in Russia in 2005 is expected to grow 12% year on year
The total number of passengers of foreign airlines operating in Russia in 2005 is expected to grow 12% year on year, compared with a 2% increase in the number of passengers of Russian carriers, a senior aviation official said Friday. Lev Koshlyakov, deputy director of Aeroflot, Russia's flagship state-controlled airline, told the State Duma (parliament's lower house), "We expect the further expansion of foreign companies on Russia's air transportation market, with traffic reaching 7.2 million passengers this year against 6.4 million last year." Aeroflot General Director Valery Okulov said Russian carriers could not compete with the expansion due to high prices for aviation fuel and outdated, gas-guzzling airplanes inherited from Soviet times. The average price for aviation fuel has risen 60% since the beginning of the year and has doubled since 2003, he added. "Under these conditions, it is ultimately impossible to make cost-effective flights, for example, the TU-54M uses 4.8 [metric] tons of fuel per hour, whereas its foreign counterpart Airbus À-320 uses only 2.3 tons," Okulov said
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