Demand for one-way flights abroad among Russians has increased

Demand for one-way air tickets abroad among Russians has increased

The share of managers leaving Russia and buying a one-way air ticket without a return ticket has sharply increased. Among them are representatives of consulting, finance and IT companies. From March to April 2022, their most popular destinations were Kazakhstan and Turkey.

Thus, according to RBC, the number of one-way tickets reached 70%, and in April – 47%. Such tickets accounted for about 1/3 of bookings in pre-Covid 2019, a representative of Aeroclub, a company specializing in business travel and a leader in the ranking of leading market players in terms of turnover, excluding subagents, told the publication.

Reported data was based on on the analysis of more than 1 million transactions that passed through the company's cash desk in the first quarter and in April of the last three years. As the company clarified, one operation is the payment for a plane ticket or a hotel reservation.

“The comparison with 2019 seems to us the most relevant, as the market was in a stable state, and was not subject to extreme impacts such as, for example, COVID-19,” he explained.

According to Yulia Lipatova, managing director of Aeroclub, the growth in demand for one-way tickets is indirect evidence of the relocation of employees. After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, a stream of IT specialists poured from Russia. As a rule, they chose neighboring countries as a new place of residence, Natalya Kasperskaya, head of the InfoWatch group, confirmed. At the same time, the chosen directions were traditionally not included in the top preferences of business representatives.

“The problem of personnel outflow exists. It was quite massive at the end of February – beginning of March, when the “herds” of IT people, not understanding the road, rushed somewhere,” she noted.

The countries with the highest demand for bookings without return tickets were Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Israel, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates, based on Aeroclub's analysis. So, as Lipatova noted, the demand for accommodation in Israel last April exceeded the pre-pandemic figures by a record 73%, with most of the orders made by representatives of the IT and telecommunications segment, as well as companies that provide consulting and financial services. “The record demand for accommodation [in hotels] was also demonstrated by the UAE and Kazakhstan, in the top destinations are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. Basically, these are visa-free countries with which flights are open,” the expert clarified.

A week earlier, on May 17, Finance Minister Maxim Shadayev said that approximately 80% of SIM card holders of Russian mobile operators who left Russia after the start of the special operation in Ukraine, they returned back. According to the FSB, 3.88 million Russians left Russia in the first quarter of 2022. This number is 36% less than in the 4th quarter of 2021 and 46% more than in January-March 2021.

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