New Delhi (Sputnik) — Sergey Kidisyuk, General Manager of Aeroflot India says 2017 was a record-setting year for the Moscow-Delhi route with Aeroflot carrying almost 290,000 passengers, a 50% year-on-year increase. In an interview with Sputnik, Kidisyuk said that the legacy of six decades of partnership, six decades of connecting our respective capital cities, six decades of bringing Russia and India closer together is something Aeroflot is proud of and looks forward to continuing to build upon.
Sputnik: What is the India focus for Aeroflot?
Sergey Kidisyuk: On August 18 Aeroflot celebrates 60 years of flying between Russia and India. Our focus is on providing a world-class offering for passengers traveling between Russia and India — whether for business or leisure. Aeroflot transit passengers connecting between India and Europe enjoy the shortest airtime and award-winning service. Given its size and potential as well as the positive legacy of bilateral ties India remains a priority market for Russia's largest airline.
— neeta lal (@neeta_com) July 7, 2018
Sputnik: Please elucidate on Aeroflot's growth trajectory in the Indian aerospace?
Between 2000 and 2017, passenger traffic between the two capitals amounted to 2.45 million. In Spring 2016, passenger traffic increased sharply following the launch of the second daily flight. 2017 was a record-setting year for the Moscow-Delhi route: Aeroflot carried almost 290,000 passengers, a 50% year-on-year increase.
Sputnik: What other destinations is Aeroflot looking at for expansion?
Sergey Kidisyuk: Aeroflot currently serves 146 destinations in 52 countries, and we are in a sustainable expansion mode. We keep adding new routes, for instance just this winter we added new services from Moscow to Dublin, Ljubljana, and Gothenburg as well as we are increasing flight frequency on routes to Dubai, Phuket, and Bangkok.
Arguably, even more, important than adding new destinations, we continue to add frequencies to popular destinations in Russia and Europe. Additional flight frequencies mean it is even more convenient to travel between India and other Asian points of origin and the capitals of Europe via our world-class Moscow hub.
— Aeroflot_World (@Aeroflot_World) July 17, 2018
Sergey Kidisyuk: Aeroflot consistently offers highly competitive fares, and in fact has been ranked among the lowest cost full-service carriers in the world — even beating low-cost carriers on price in many instances. Multiple passenger reviews highlight our affordable fares.
We look forward to keeping fares for Indian passengers as low as feasible while continuing to deliver a phenomenal product and service offering.
Sputnik: Can flyers expect anything exciting in the offing?
Sergey Kidisyuk: In short: a lot. We are a passenger-centered airline. A lot of our new product and service offering is driven by our major focus on digitalization. Aeroflot is a highly digitalized airline globally and we continue to roll out additional more digital offerings. These include such things as WiFi service on board and technically advanced in-flight entertainment systems. But also "behind the scenes" items such as the world's most sophisticated baggage tracking software or leveraging Big Data to better communicate with customers.
— Aeroflot_World (@Aeroflot_World) August 3, 2018
Sputnik: What has been Aeroflot's biggest USP?
Sergey Kidisyuk: We continue to hold the title of the youngest fleet of aircraft of any major airline in the world, flying modern and comfortable Airbus, Boeing and Sukhoi aircraft. We continue to constantly renew our fleet of aircraft, translating to safety, reliability, seat comfort, etc.
We continue to strengthen in-flight service whose excellence has been certified by a superior 4-star ranking from Skytrax since 2016. Aeroflot's splendid onboard catering allows for a wide choice of Asian-inspired dishes as well as special meals including Asian vegetarian and religious dietary meals. To indulge sophisticated taste buds Aeroflot introduced Asian-themes menus for Business Class passengers on flights to Asia.