MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Losses of Russian airlines in the event of suspension of flights can exceed 100 bln rubles ($1.35 bln), First Deputy Minister of Transport, Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko said on Tuesday.
"Different numbers are given if this situation persists until the end of the year. The numbers vary, they require verification, but over 100 bln rubles was said," he said, speaking about the losses of airlines.
Neradko added that Russian airlines lost 1.7 bln rubles ($22.94 mln) due to suspended flights to China in February. "According to the airlines, lost marginal profit from closing destinations to China amounted to about 1.7 bln rubles in February alone," he said.
On February 1, air traffic between Russia and China was limited to minimize the risks of the spread of coronavirus. Only Aeroflot and four Chinese airlines operate Sheremetyevo flights from scheduled flights. All flights to China are served only at terminal F.
Prior to this, Russian airlines operated about 150 flights to China per week, and Chinese airlines carried out about 40 flights per week.
The outbreak of a disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered in central China in late December 2019. The World Health Organization recognized the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11. Outside China, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran. Overall, more than 130 countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
According to the latest data, the novel coronavirus cases globally have exceeded 180,000, with over 7,000 deaths. According to the anti-coronavirus task force, 93 coronavirus cases have been registered in Russia.