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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Discount Carriers Could Face Restrictions at St. Pete Airport

Discount carriers could face restrictions to their access of Pulkovo Airport following complaints by a local airline.

At a Monday meeting on changes to the city’s strategy of developing its transportation and logistical complex, Rossia airlines head Roman Pakhomov said that while the plans being discussed specified bringing discount carriers to Pulkovo, they did not offer any support for the city’s largest aviation companies.

St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Yury Molchanov told Pakhomov that it would be necessary to curtail the proposal on budget airlines, five participants of the meeting said.

Discount airlines are a major source of competition for other carriers because they offer cheaper prices in exchange for fewer services, a Rossia airlines spokesperson said.

In 2008, six discount airlines operated in Pulkovo, accounting for more than 5 percent of its passenger traffic, an airport representative said.

As Pulkovo’s owner, the city can theoretically interfere in airport policy, although this has never happened in the past, the representative said.

Next year, Pulkovo will be managed by VTB and Fraport, the winners of a June tender on the rights to rebuild and operate the airport for the next 30 years. The consortium’s strategy for attracting new airline companies met with general approval, Molchanov said.

Starting next year, the consortium will determine which airlines will have access to the airport, he said.

VTB and Fraport representatives could not be reached for comment.

Budget airlines are an indicator of a competitive market, broadening the spectrum of price categories that passengers have access to, said an employee of a budget airline operating in Pulkovo.