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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Domestic Travel Drops Aboard Russian Airliners

Fewer passengers are choosing to fly Russian airlines, particularly on domestic routes, a news agency reported Monday.

The overall number of passengers fell 11 percent in the first half of this year, with domestic travel decreasing by 16.7 percent, according to a Russian Transport Ministry report cited by Interfax.

The Transport Ministry said it considers the fall evidence that demand for flights is stabilizing. In the last two years the number of people choosing to fly Russian airlines has plummeted nearly 30 percent.

The decline in domestic travel comes amid increasing concerns about air safety in Russia. Last year 11 planes crashed, resulting in the deaths of 221 passengers and crew members. Recently the U.S. State Department advised American diplomats to avoid Russian airlines whenever possible.

But the demand for international travel on Russian airlines seems to be rising. The Transport Ministry said the number of international passengers rose by 12 percent in the first half of 1994.

According to the report, some private airlines launched since the Soviet collapse are attracting a loyal clientele.

The private airline Transaero has been growing rapidly, the Transport Ministry reported. It is now flying five leased Boeing aircraft and, since the beginning of the year, has more than doubled the number of its flights.