Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Traffic Up as Rail Tariffs Soar

Russian airlines carried 10.3 million passengers in the first half of the year, up 12 percent from the same period last year, Deputy Transportation Minister Boris Novoseltsev said Wednesday.

But while airlines are having a banner year, passenger train operators are not, with traffic down 5.5 percent to 613 million.

Novoseltsev said the difference in the performance of the two sectors was easy to explain — prices. While railway tariffs soared 73 percent in the first half of the year, airline rates rose an average of just 19 percent, barely above the 13 percent inflation rate over the same period.

The trend looks set to continue, as the Railways Ministry was given permission by the government this week to raise various rail tariffs by an average of 18 percent beginning Aug. 1.

The volume of passengers carried by all means of transport, including public transportation, grew just 0.2 percent to 22.3 billion between January and June, said Novoseltsev.

Overall cargo volumes grew 2.3 percent to 5.2 billion tons, but the railway sector shrank 1.4 percent. River transport rose 5 percent, while auto and air transport increased 4 percent.

The volume of cargo processed at Russian ports grew 6.2 percent to 41 million tons — imports increasing 9.3 percent to 5.8 million tons and exports rising 6 percent to 31.8 million tons.

The number of transit cargo operations through Russia grew between 30 percent and 35 percent, Novoseltsev said.