UK low-cost carrier easyJet will stop flights from London Gatwick to Moscow Domodedovo from March 21, 2016 due to reduced demand.
“The decision has been taken in response to the significant and sustained reduction in demand for travel between Moscow and London in recent months, which has been driven by a number of factors, including the weakness of the Russian economy together with the tightening of the visa approval process. EasyJet will keep the potential reintroduction of the route under review,” EasyJet said in a statement.
In 2012, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) chose easyJet over Virgin Atlantic for the Moscow service and launched flights March 18, 2013. The carrier anticipated flying a substantial number of business passengers on the route.
The bilateral agreement between Russia and UK allows each side to designate two carriers to operate flights between Moscow and London. After the easyJet flight ceases, British Airways will remain the one UK carrier on the route.
Russian authorities designated Aeroflot and Transaero Airlines on the route, but on Sept. 1 Transaero announced its integration into the Aeroflot Group.
Since the beginning of the year, several international carriers have terminated or decreased services to Russia. Cathay Pacific stopped Hong Kong-Moscow service on June 1. Austrian’s FlyNiki ceased Vienna-Moscow flights early in the year. At the same time, Emirates will increase capacity on the Dubai-Saint Petersburg route from Oct. 25, 2015. The carrier will change Airbus A330-200s to Boeing 777-300ERs on the route.