It’s boom time for Russian arrivals in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, thanks to a doubling in seat capacity on direct flights from Russia to selected APAC destinations. The trend is revealed in the latest findings from ForwardKeys which predicts future travel patterns by analysing more than 17 million booking transactions a day.
Total international arrivals in the APAC region were up 3.8%, May 2018 to April 2019. However, Russia’s 54.5% increase meant Europe was the top growing origin continent, up 6.3%.
The extent of Russia’s sharply renewed enthusiasm for APAC is revealed by reviewing historical figures. The volume of arrivals rocketed towards the end of last summer, according to ForwardKeys’ data.
Growth in Russian leisure travellers (up 62.8%) dramatically outstripped business travel (up 27.5%) and they’re staying for 16 nights on average. In line with general trends towards shorter lead times, the Russians are booking fewer days in advance, 65.8 days, down from 78.1 days.
Direct flights from Russia to Asia-Pacific more than doubled as airlines increased their seat capacity substantially. Overall seat capacity was up 37.6%, with the highlights being a 124.8% increase in seats to Thailand and 153.0% to Vietnam.
ForwardKeys Vice President, Insights, Olivier Ponti, said: “For the Asia-Pacific region, Russia is now the 9th top origin country – by share – outside of APAC itself. It’s due to a combination of increased seat capacity on direct flights, high-profile political visits, and astute marketing… as well as agile capacity meeting demand.”