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Moscow Vnukovo: Moscow's fastest growing airport courts Qatar Airways

Moscow Vnukovo is the Russian capital's fastest growing airport. Annual passenger numbers increased by 30% in 2017 and 20% in 1H2018. The FIFA World Cup had a positive impact on traffic from mid Jun-2018 to mid Jul-2018, but the underlying story for Russia's leading low cost airport is one of strong growth, regardless.

Unlike Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo, Moscow's third biggest airport does not have one airline that is the clear leader by seat capacity. Rather, Vnukovo is an important base for three airlines with distinct positions. It is the biggest base for UTair Aviation, Russia's third largest airline and Pobeda, Russia's only LCC, and the second biggest base for Rossiya, the regional airline of the Aeroflot Group. The airport's fourth biggest operator, RusLine, switched to Vnukovo from Domodedovo in Mar-2018.

The airport has a domestic focus, but it is attracting attention from the global superconnectors. Already the Moscow base of Turkish Airlines, the airport signed an MoU with Qatar Airways in Apr-2018 that could pave the way for the Doha-based airline to acquire a 25% stake in Vnukovo. Qatar Airways operates to rival Domodedovo, but is expected to switch to Vnukovo once due diligence is completed.

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