Impact of Sochi Olympic Games travel was limited to Russian hubs

Pascal Clement

Head of Travel Intelligence, Amadeus IT Group

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New analysis from our Amadeus Traffic Analysis solution brings interesting highlights in scheduled air travel capacity to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Overall seat capacity to Sochi in February alone has gone up by nearly 150,000 seats, with flights from Moscow, the main hub serving Sochi, seeing a 150% increase during the month.

Seat capacity to Sochi infographic

Of the overall 1,300 flights to Sochi over 1,000 are domestic connections within Russia, with 75% of those domestic flights originating in one of Moscow’s three airports. Averaged over the course of the month that represents 27 daily Moscow-Sochi flights, which is very close to the 30 daily flights servicing the New-York-London route.

For Europeans seeking to travel to and from Sochi there are only 60 direct flights from Frankfurt in Germany, which have been newly scheduled for 2014, with a handful of departures from Istanbul, Milan, Munich, Oslo and Zurich. There are no scheduled direct connections from France or the UK, despite London being the second most popular European origin city for flights to Sochi, after Frankfurt.

This analysis of flight schedule data clearly shows that Russia’s airline industry is responding to the demand for increased passenger traffic to Sochi with a significant boom in available seats. In the majority of cases European and American airlines have preferred to handle the demand in partnership with Russian carriers.

What’s also interesting to note is the impact of additional passenger demand on prices of travel to Sochi. During the Winter Olympics the average cost of flying from Moscow to Sochi is around 600 Euros for a round trip, after the Winter Olympics the cost falls by a multiple of six to just 100 Euros. When considering whether to buy a single ticket to Sochi or to buy two separate tickets, first to Moscow, then another leg to Sochi the latter option offers the greatest value on average.

For example, if a single round-trip ticket is bought from a world capital to Sochi it costs between 600-1000 Euros extra on average than buying the two tickets separately. After the Olympics the additional cost falls to 100-300 Euros on average. Of course price isn’t everything. A single ticket provides security in terms of knowing that if a connection is missed an alternative option will be provided. In addition, it is likely to be far easier for international visitors to buy a single ticket via their domestic airline rather than also searching inventory of the Russian carriers flying the Moscow – Sochi leg.

This information from Amadeus Traffic Analysis, combined with our other next-generation Amadeus Travel Intelligence solutions - such as Amadeus Search Analysis - helps airlines to anticipate the travelers' demand to any destination (from any specific origin) based on Search data and adapt their strategy accordingly (e.g: open direct service). Any specific Airlines' business questions can also be addressed via Amadeus Data Scientists, delivering expert advice on-request, as part of the wide range of Consulting Services proposed by Amadeus Travel Intelligence.

For more about the Amadeus Traffic Analysis solution – have a look at our Travel Intelligence in the digital era Amadeus Traffic Analysis blog post.


Europe, Big Data, Events