Does Belarus prohibit low-cost carriers from entering the market?

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Does Belarus prohibit low-cost carriers from entering the market?

The general director of Belavia Anatoly Gusarov told the Belarusian portal TUT.by about the prospects of low-cost carriers in Belarus.

- They say you do not allow low-cost airlines to Belarus. Is this true? We know that Russian lowcoster "Pobeda" has been asking to allow flights in Belarus for a few years now.

- How far from the truth! Where did they want to fly? Moscow - Minsk. But, as far as I know, Pobeda airline does not have a permission for this line from the Russian authorities. Now they have applied for accreditation on the Moscow-Gomel line. And they will fly along this line, because no one on the Belarusian side has any objections. But I do not know what the conditions of work of Pobeda will be on the line of St. Petersburg - Minsk, in both airports. Most likely, they will ask for lower rates at our airport and in St. Petersburg. Then, similarly, Belavia will have the right to ask for the same fees. After all, we, too, set the task of reducing the cost of tickets in our work...

- How does this scheme work - the coordination of tariffs? At what stage should a foreign airline ask you whether you agree to their tariff? Did Pobeda contact you on this issue?

- Last time I do not remember, but now nobody has officially addressed. There were some cold emails, but nothing under the signature of the general director or deputy director general at the official level.

In general, the scheme is as follows. When we receive an appointment of aviation authorities for flights, we go to the airport where we want to fly, ask for slots (the time allocated at the airport for the flight) and conditions. Then we form tariffs proceeding from this. Next, we must send tariffs to other airlines that fly there, for coordination. And they can approve them and tell us: "Ok, you can fly."

Under agreements with the same Russia or Ukraine, an airline must submit to the aviation authorities for approval tariffs agreed with the other carrier. When we are provided with tariffs for approval, we see if they are very different from ours. If the difference is striking, we can look for an opportunity to reduce our tariffs. And if they are different because that airline has preferential terms in the airport, it is clear that we also begin to ask for the same.

- Do I correctly understand that you do not prohibit the arrival of Pobeda in Minsk, but make it clear that you may yourself go to airports with the same conditions?

- Yes, conditions for working on the St. Petersburg-Minsk line for us at one and the other airport should not be worse than those of the Pobeda airline.

In general, for a low-cost airline to arrive in a country, there needs to be a constant passenger flow. Of course not the richest people will fly, but you need to pick large aircraft, for 150-180 seats. And this flow should be constant - not only for summer months and during holidays.

Excerpt from TUT.by article