Aeroexpress has announced its decision to cease operations in the cities of Vladivostok and Kazan, and to focus its efforts on the Moscow region, where the company serves air-rail links between the capital and the three airports of the Moscow Air Transportation Cluster.
Due to the planned termination of business in regions, Aeroexpress is now considering a possibility to transfer the established transportation business and service infrastructure in these areas to local rail carriers. Discussions with regional authorities are already under way.
“Despite the fact that both projects are supported by the federal government, expenses incurred by Aeroexpress in the regions have not been yet reimbursed. In 2014 alone, the company’s losses amounted to RUB 130,000,000 in Vladivostok and approximately RUB 62,000,000 in Kazan. We have not yet received any compensations or subsidies from the Vladivostok local government. As for the Kazan project, only a 50% compensation have been paid. The only reason why we continue the operation in these regions is the responsibility to our passengers and the urge to meet their needs. We are currently working through the best way to transfer the entire service establishment to local carriers and not to infringe the interests of passengers. Unfortunately, the current macroeconomic situation and the fact that the cost of using the railroad infrastructure by Aeroexpress has risen 100 times as of 5 January 2015 have forced our company to cease activities there,” stated Alexey Sorokin, Chief Operating Officer at Aeroexpress.
Aeroexpress launched its services in these regions few years ago. In Vladivostok, the new air-rail link was put into operation in July 2012. In May 2013, Aeroexpress trains started to run along a new line connecting the city of Kazan and Kazan International Airport.
Both regional projects were intended to meet federal needs. Thus, intermodal services in Vladivostok were commenced to support the 2012 APEC summit and to provide comfortable transportation for its participants. The operation in Kazan was started to serve the 2013 Summer Universiade.