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Published since 2002
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Issue 2, 2022

Fokeev M. A. Business models transformation of Russian airlines: Influence of coronavirus crisis.

The article discusses the business-model transformation of Russian airlines in 2020 and for the first half of 2021 caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Research interest in Russian air transport market is considerable due to its heterogeneity in terms of airline business models, the level of federal (regional) regulation, passenger traffic on different routes. The theoretical part of the study analyzes approaches to defining airlines business-model. The pattern of business model by J. Daft and S. Albers based on a quantitatively defined finite set of carriers’ characteristics is most appropriate for the objectives of the study. Due to lack of primary data the empirical part is based on the media coverage of Russian airlines in the period of 2020 and 2021. The data was verified using text analysis methods in SPSS Modeler and primary data on the operational activities of airlines. Further, through a series of expert panels, which included representatives of airports and airlines, the number of carriers’ media coverage was arranged into components and dimensions of business model. It was found that the actions of Russian and foreign airlines differed according to the territorial and institutional characteristics of the Russian air transport market. There was a transition to direct regional flights, the expansion of the customer way and the competition between carriers based on a set of available services. With the novelty of the study, the conclusions are limited because the analysis based on media coverage does not reveal a full range of reactions of airlines, in particular, internal transformations which companies do not report. The results can serve as a pattern for the formation of industry monitoring of airline reactions, as well as a starting point for studying the sustainability of changes in the business models of Russian airlines. Keywords: air passenger market, airline business-model, air transport market development, COVID-19, airline transformation.

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