Chronicle of events: 2010
The most important event of 2010 was the decision by the Russian Government on transfer to Aeroflot of six airlines operators belonging to the state corporation Russian Technologies.
Fleet modernization and expansion
Aeroflot added new aircraft to its fleet. A 9th Airbus A330 and a 33rd A320 were received in January; the 10th A330 arrived in April; the 34th A320 and 17th A321 in October; the 35th A320 in November; and the 18th A321 in December.
In November the Aeroflot Board of Directors gave the go-ahead for creation of the Aeroflot Aviation School, a non-state education establishment based on the Company’s Air Personnel Training Department and the Aviabusiness school of business.
Development of the route network
The long-haul route network was expanded for the winter schedule 2010/2011. New regular flights started to Goa (India), Phuket (Thailand), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and regular flights resumed to Male (Maldives) and Denpasar (Indonesia). The network was further expanded to include Moscow—Tel Aviv—Moscow in August and Moscow—Kazan—Moscow in September.
Aeroflot is developing cooperation under current codesharing agreements with Russian and foreign airlines. Aeroflot and Air France decided to broaden commercial cooperation in March. Aeroflot and Czech Airlines began sharing the Prague—Krakow—Prague route in May. In July dozens of new flights (to Irkutsk, Murmansk, Ekaterinburg, Nizhnevartovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Barnaul, Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk) were added to those previously operated (from Moscow to Kaliningrad and cities in Germany) in conjunction with Rossiya Airlines.
The Company is developing its freight and mail network. In April Aeroflot became the first Russian airline to carry mail for the French post office.
In April the mobile phone company MegaFon signed a contract with Aeroflot to install base stations on board Aeroflot aircraft and in December Aeroflot became the first Russian air carrier to offer passengers in-flight mobile telephony.
The Company’s in-flight magazine received a thorough makeover in June 2010.
From July Aeroflot began to offer check-in by mobile phone for its flights, and in November Aeroflot was the first Russian airline to offer the service outside Russia (at London’s Heathrow airport).
Market research shows that passengers trust Aeroflot. Customer loyalty was measured in July by the international strategic consultancy Bain & Company using Net Promoter Score (a specialized index). Aeroflot had an NPS index of 44%, which puts it ahead of many competitors in the industry. The survey found that a large share of Aeroflot customers would recommend Company services to their friends.
Aeroflot works continuously to improve the quality and range of its passenger services. A new business and economy-class in-flight menu was introduced in March. A joint programme with Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, ‘Healthy Eating in the Air and on the Ground’, was launched in June.
In November Aeroflot opened its new-generation central ticket office in Moscow. The new office uses electronic queue management and maximizes customer options to ensure efficient, high-quality passenger service. Systems at the office recognize privileged status of members of the Aeroflot Bonus programme.
The first stage of Aeroflot’s Payment Gateway was introduced in 2010.
In February Aeroflot and Sberbank of Russia held the first open electronic auction of blocks of seats for tour companies ahead of the 2010 summer season. Block auctions were also held in August for the 2010/2011 winter schedule.
Aeroflot’s Electronic Marketplace for tenders of goods and services was inaugurated in July 2010.
Alfa Bank has handled Internet payments by plastic card for Aeroflot since August 2010. Now payments for air tickets booked online are processed by Alfa Bank’s system exclusively, without use of intermediaries.
In December Aeroflot made its debut on the social networks Facebook, In Contact (a Russian analogue of Facebook), and the microblogging site Twitter. The Company CEO Vitaly Saveliev has started a personal blog on LiveJournal and tweets on Twitter.
The Company in capital markets
In March the credit ratings agency Fitch rated Aeroflot BB+, with stable outlook.
In April 2010 the Company entered the bond market and made two successful bond issues for a total of RUR 12 billion with three-year maturity. The securities were listed on MICEX Quote List A1 and also included in the Lombard List of the Central Bank of Russia.
In March Aeroflot took part, for the fourth time, in the Train of Hope national charity event, organized by Radio Russia as part of the Children’s Question social project.
Following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland in April, Aeroflot laid on additional flights on European routes and accepted all passengers with valid tickets who had been unable to depart from airports, which were closed down, but managed to reach others still in operation.
Aeroflot ran its Comrades in Arms programme from May 3 to 27, in honor of the 65th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, offering specially discounted flights to veterans.
In September 2010 Aeroflot, in cooperation with the Give Life charity, held an auction of paintings by children receiving assistance from Give Life programmes. All proceeds were used to enable children with health problems to travel for medical treatment.
Aeroflot has taken a lead among Russian companies by providing social transport under a 2010 government programme designed to widen access to air travel between the Russian Far East and European Russia. About 95,000 passengers benefited from discounted fares between April 1 and October 31, 2010 representing an increase of 3.5 times compared with the same period of 2009.
In February Aeroflot was the official carrier of the Russian ice hockey team to the world championships in Vancouver.