Russia’s Aeroflot passenger numbers down 8.2% year on year -Ifax

FILE PHOTO: Aeroflot presents its first Airbus A350-900 at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian flag carrier Aeroflot saw its group passenger numbers drop 8.2% year on year in the first nine months of 2022, Interfax reported on Tuesday, citing figures from the company’s CEO.

“We carried 31.3 million passengers as a group in the first nine months of 2022,” Aeroflot CEO Sergei Aleksandrovsky was quoted as saying, down from 34.1 million in the same period of 2021.

He added that the airline will need to recruit 3,500 additional pilots to operate domestically-manufactured airplanes, Interfax reported, as Russia plans to end its reliance on Western aircraft.

State-owned conglomerate Rostec said in September that Russia’s aviation industry aimed to produce 1,000 airliners by 2030, as Western sanctions make it difficult to obtain the parts needed to fix foreign planes.

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(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Caleb Davis; editing by David Evans)