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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BA Russia Flies Through Sector Crisis

British Airways' operations in Russia weathered the aviation crisis better than anywhere else in the world, the company said Thursday.

While passenger numbers plunged between 25 percent and 30 percent overnight elsewhere after the Sept. 11 attacks, passenger numbers on flights to and from Russia saw a slighter decrease of between 5 percent and 10 percent in September and October from projected figures, Julia Cook, BA's sales manager in Russia, said at a news conference Thursday.

In Russia, BA kept the same number of flights as before Sept. 11 -- flying to London 14 times a week from Moscow and five times from St. Petersburg.

Up to Sept. 11, BA had seen 13 percent year-on-year growth on its Moscow-London route. In fiscal 2000, BA carried 250,000 passengers between Britain and Russia.

Although BA plans to lay off 7,200 staff around the world, no layoffs were made in Russia, said Daniel Burkard, BA's commercial manager for Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

BA, however, has put some projects on hold. Plans to start flights to Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterinburg, which were set to begin next year, have been put off, Burkard said.

Furthermore, with two daily flights departing from Moscow in the late afternoon, the airline is still battling to get an morning slot at Sheremetyevo, he said. In November, Russian aviation authorities denied BA the slot on the grounds that Aeroflot cannot get a morning slot at Heathrow in London, he said.

Unhappy about the service at Sheremetyevo's international terminal, BA has been looking to move across town to the recently renovated Domodedovo Airport. "We are in negotiations with Domodedovo management," Burkard said, adding there is a 50-50 chance as to whether the airline will stay at Sheremetyevo or move.

"The ground product in Sheremetyevo is not up to BA standards," he said. "The feedback we are getting on Domodedovo is gold compared to Sheremetyevo."