Wednesday, December 20, 2006

End of Year Pattern in Flights

Over the last three years, I have been watching this end-of-the-year spike in the number of flights from certain destinations. This year's numbers are at a record high. Armavia doubled its weekly flights to Moscow's Domodedovo airport in mid-November making the total weekly number of flights to Moscow 47 - the highest since June 2005. Over the past month or so, Armavia also added some new CIS destinations (Minsk, Tbilisi, Ashgabat) and doubled the number of flights to Aktau. In addition, the regular weekly flights from Sochi, Rostov, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, St. Petersburg, Stavropol, Yekaterinburg are expected to double and even triple during the last two weeks of this year (Sochi-Yerevan 2 flights per week is to be replaced by 9 flights during the last week of December, Rostov-Yerevan 6 instead of 4 flights per week, etc.). Plus, there are some one-time flights that open up around the Christmas/New Year, like Sharm el Sheikh and Vladikavkaz.

Most likely this spike is demand-driven. I think it indicates three things: (1) where the new Armenian diaspora centers are located; (2) what the main destinations for Armenian labor migrants are; and finally (3) which business destinations actively work. We know the aggregate number of travelers at a given point in time (see here), but are there any data or statistics on the passengers for each of these three groups? Any survey results?

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