The market of rail passenger services between Russia and other countries, including the CIS and Baltic States, had been experiencing a continuous decline from 2010 to 2013; by the end of that period, it had shrunk by 4.9%. In 2014, passenger numbers dropped even further — by 44% — at the backdrop of weakening consumer demand due to macroeconomic and political factors, especially relationships between Russian and Ukraine, which dominated that segment of the passenger service market.
Ukraine accounts for 37% of the rail transport market, followed by Belarus with 28%, Kazakhstan with 10%, Moldova with 6%, Finland and Uzbekistan with 5% each. The other countries account for just 1%.
By the end of 2014, air passenger traffic grew by 3.6%, with the number of passengers travelling from Russia to other countries beyond the CIS increased by 4.5% and the number of passengers travelling between Russian and the CIS countries decreased by 3.6%.
In general, the rail and air transport markets have different trends, with competition causing the rail transport’s share to shrink and the air transport’s share to increase. So, the number of passengers travelling by train dropped by 44% in 2014, while airlines saw a 3.5% increase in their passenger numbers. This is due to airlines’ flexible tariff policies in combination with a growing quality of service (new jets, airport infrastructure development), aggressive promotional and marketing campaigns (ads in mass media) and state support.
* Sources: rail transport — to JSC RZD’s reports; air transport — Federal Agency for Air Transport’s data (http://favt.ru/).