[The Moscow Times] British budget airline easyJet on Wednesday started selling tickets for a Moscow-Manchester service to begin in March, as the no-frills carrier looks set to slash the cost of flying between Russia and Britain.
A one-way trip from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport to Manchester, the third largest city in Britain, starts at $72.49, easyJet director Paul Simmons told The Moscow Times. The price for Moscow-London flights, with sales set to begin in mid-January, will be similar.
As of March 18, there will be four daily flights between Moscow and London, leaving London at 7 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. and Moscow at 2:30 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., Simmons said. The Moscow-Manchester service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
While there is a fixed quota for tickets sold at the starting price, easyJet operates a system whereby fares increase with demand, making them more expensive in peak periods.
The company’s first commercial flight from Manchester to Moscow is scheduled for March 28. By mid-afternoon in Moscow a one-way ticket on easyJet’s website was selling for £59.99 ($96.70).
As well as stealing market share from Russian carriers, easyJet also expects to boost the numbers of tourists and businessmen travelling between the two countries.
“We will grow the market,” Simmons said. “We tend to do that when we go to a new destination.”
And the company expects the new routes to be lucrative. easyJet could reap profits of up to $2.4 million flying 300,000 passengers annually, he said.
easyJet was awarded the right to operate the Moscow-London route from Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority in October, beating off competition from Richard Branson‘s Virgin Atlantic.
Under a bilateral agreement between Russia and Britain only four carriers can fly between the two countries’ capitals. A space became available earlier this year — for the first time since 1998 ……..
Moscow Times - By Howard Amos
14th Dec, 2012