Black environment. The weakening of the ruble leads to a rise in price of air tickets
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has adjusted the exchange rate on the basis of which airlines calculate tariffs in global distribution systems …
But the updated exchange rate does not reflect a real weakening of the ruble. A significant increase in airfare is expected next Wednesday.
According to the IATA rate today, the euro is at around 72.00, the dollar at 59.00. IATA updates the course on Wednesdays. Based on the data published by the Central Bank on Tuesday (determined at auction on Monday). That is, the real exchange rate of the national currency now does not correspond to the IATA figure: on the Moscow Exchange, the dollar costs 63 rubles, the euro – 77.8 rubles.
According to Oleg Panteleev, head of the analytical service of the AviaPort agency, reservation systems calculate the price in the currency of the country in which the consumer makes a purchase. When recalculating tariffs, the IATA rate is used, which, in relation to the Russian market, takes into account the current ruble exchange rate in relation to the dollar and the euro, set by the Central Bank.
According to Panteleev, based on practice, when the ruble falls, it is more profitable to buy tickets until Tuesday, since on Wednesday IATA is revising the exchange rate.
According to the expert, after a change in the exchange rate, prices for international flights for Russian travelers will definitely increase, but for foreign travelers, on the contrary, they will decrease in currency terms.
As for domestic flights, there may be options, Panteleev says. Fluctuations in the exchange rate will not affect subsidized and so-called “flat” fares, which are valid, for example, on flights to the Crimea and the Far East.
According to the expert, in other cases, amid fluctuating exchange rates, airlines may try to maintain their competitiveness or, conversely, increase sales profitability.
According to the head of one of the carriers, due to the increase in the IATA rate, airlines will be able to increase revenue in rubles due to international flights without changing the tariff schedule. However, this is not enough to compensate carriers for foreign exchange costs, so they will be forced to further increase tariffs, the expert said. He clarifies that this will not happen immediately, but will be noticeable in three to four months.
Officials of the largest Russian air carriers – Aeroflot and S7 – have not yet commented on the current situation.
According to RAS reports, Aeroflot’s consolidation of the ruble last year against the dollar by 13% and against the euro by 11.2% affected the decrease in income rates in the international segment: the total decrease in the income rate for Aeroflot amounted to 5.5% despite the fact that the dynamics constantly improved during the year (in the fourth quarter the income rate decreased by 1.5% against the same period of the previous year).
Panteleev says that if the course remains at the current level, no particular problems are foreseen. But if the easing continues, it will be painful for the airlines, as it would strike in an international direction. With a significant change in the exchange rate, the purchasing power of citizens decreases, there is an outflow of passengers from more profitable international to domestic lines. In addition, if the carrier has large expenses in foreign currency (for example, for leasing equipment), and the bulk of revenue in rubles, you will have to face a gap due to the difference in exchange rate, the expert explains.
According to Panteleev, this problem is less relevant for S7, Ural Airlines and Aeroflot.
He says that for Aeroflot, for example, most of the revenue is denominated in foreign currency, while the costs are mainly in rubles (air navigation over Russia, service at domestic airports, payroll fund). Consequently, there will be no loss due to currency differences. S7 has a smaller share of international flights, but the route network is quite balanced, it has a large international component. Panteleev adds that S7, Aeroflot and Ural Airlines have international transit traffic, so they are not so sensitive to the crisis.
The rapid decline of the national currency against the euro and the dollar began on April 9, when the United States imposed additional sanctions. This time, “black list” included high-ranking officials, businessmen and companies. Limited measures are applied to them under the law “On Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions.”
On Tuesday, the ruble fell sharply by 2.36, which exceeded the minimum of 2016. The depreciation continues despite rising oil prices: on April 10, the price of a barrel of Brent brand reached $ 70.