According to Okulov, Russian air carriers saw their passenger traffic grow by 22 percent in January-April 2004, while in the few preceding years, the average growth rate was at 10 percent. "Russia has outpaced China in terms of air traffic growth," he remarked.
Russian carriers are operating at profit while European and North American airlines are incurring losses, Okulov said. Thus, for instance, the Dutch carrier KLM has lost 450 million dollars in recent months and the losses of Italy's Alitalia have surpassed the $500 million mark.
The Aeroflot CEO believe that Russian aircraft manufacturers should not spread themselves too thin, but rather channel all their energies into the development of one state-of-the-art model. The decision as to which kind should be made by the government, he said.
Okulov also said the Tu-334 project turned out a complete failure for the jets were supposed to be widely operational in 2004 but none is as of today.