What makes a brand? Pricing power, superior-quality product and a loyal customer base. What makes a historic brand on top? Rich heritage, resilience, ambition and vision. Aeroflot, Russia’s de facto national carrier, epitomizes all of these promoting the biggest Russian carrier to the Golden League of outstanding historic brands. Paradoxically, though a household name around the world Aeroflot largely remains an unknown quantity. And amazing discoveries about Aeroflot, the champion of Russian aviation, only begin here. Buckle up.
In a conspicuous breakthrough for Russian aviation Aeroflot has just been recognized world’s strongest airline brand as well as strongest Russia’s brand by leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. Aeroflot’s high brand strength score was driven by continued efficiency in its operational and financial performance despite a challenging economic environment. Long-term investments in the fleet and the expansion of Aeroflot’s digital capabilities also played an important role, commented the experts. Russia’s national carrier has the youngest fleet of any major airline worldwide, and ranks fourth in the industry for digitalisation, according to Bain & Company research. Aeroflot NPS has gone from mere 44% in 2010 to wholesome 72% in 2017.
Aeroflot is the face of Russia, and its most recognisable company both at home and abroad. For tens of millions of people around the world, Aeroflot is synonymous with excellent customer service infusing Russian hospitality and top international standards. Aeroflot combines the vigor of an efficient high-tech global company and the confidence of a proud long-established national carrier of the world’s biggest country.
Celebrating its 94th birthday in 2017, the world’s third oldest airline Aeroflot operates one of the youngest aircraft fleet over an extensive network dominating Europe-Asia transit on many routes and providing internationally recognized best-in-class service offering. By 2025 Aeroflot aims to carry 70 million passengers and be ranked in the top five European and top 20 global airline groups by traffic and revenue.
Invigorated by the vibrant customer-oriented culture reigning at the Aeroflot of today the carrier is continuously upgrading its service offering. In a telling breakthrough, in 2016, Aeroflot has been awarded an official four-star quality and service ranking from the leading independent authority on airline quality, Skytrax. The prestigious rating has firmly placed Aeroflot alongside global peers. Resting on laurels is alien to Aeroflot. False humility aside, the Russian carrier is officially set to become the first European air company obtaining Skytrax’s five-star airline.
The long path to excellence has not always been a turbulence-free navigation. More than that, from aviation history and business study standpoint the Russian legacy carrier presents a textbook example of spectacular turnaround. Aeroflot traces its history back to 1923 the dawn of aviation and not long after Soviet Union itself. From the 1930s through to 1990s it would sprawl to become the world’s largest airline. It survived the demise of USSR as a shadow of its former self clinging to its long record of operations symbolized by hammer and sickle emblem as the only source of pride. The dramatic transformation begun in 2009 allowed to reinvent the iconic brand. A new management mindset with a relentless focus on customer service and high-tech have turned the ailing post-Soviet carrier to a modern European airline. Aeroflot of today is a favorite with passengers and investors alike. The new status in the global aviation arena adequately reflects Aeroflot’s awesome heritage.
The aviation leader of the past soars ever higher conquering new heights. Ironically, the fruits born by the the historical transformation from top-industry service to international accolades are often welcomed as eye-opening revelations. In what turned to be a singlestanding challenge Aeroflot continues grappling with deep-seated stereotypes trailing the historic Aeroflot brand in the world arena. No wonder, the keynote idea persisting across Aeroflot customer reviews – to quote the benchmark TripAdvisor – is «a pleasant surprise» and «much better than expected».
The overwhelming passenger fascination has resulted in hefty TripAdvisor awards for the iconic Russian carrier. Aeroflot has been named Best major airline in Europe and Best business class, globally by TripAdvisor travelers. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value – the properties international flyers’ have unanimously and decisively attributed to Aeroflot. Well, vox populi vox dei. Maths would corroborate, the international passenger numbers have posted steady growth in recent years with Asia-originated traffic dominating the increase.
What will definitely not come as revelation, Asia is the global tourism driving force. As a forward-looking airline with a global outreach, Aeroflot is focused on the gigantic Asian market. Thanks to Moscow’s location close to the great East-West circle-arch Aeroflot leverages infinite transit potential gradually positively aspiring to that “super-connector” status. The airline has gained top positions in terms of seamless Asia-Europe connectivity
via Sheremetyevo hub.
Obviously, strategic and service-adjustment efforts in the world’s most important markets have fallen on good soil. As another global achievement Aeroflot has just been recognised as the Favourite International Airline in China at the Flyer Award Ceremony 2017.
Geographically seating at the crossroads of civilisations and strategically bridging East and West Aeroflot is inherently a legacy European carrier. Aeroflot has twice won Readers’ Choice prize at Air Transport News Awards in recognition of its achievement. In 2016, CEO Vitaly Saveliev the architect and executor of Aeroflot’s historic transformation was named Leader of the Year to celebrate his exemplary management and historic contribution in the Russian airline industry development. The spectacular golden laurel
wreaths reminiscent of the ancient Olympic champions that Transport News Awards triumphators receive are exceptionally symbolic in the case of Aeroflot.
Throughout its long history Aeroflot has demonstrated champion resilience. Resting on laurels is not part of Aeroflot’s truly Olympic character. It is a sure sign of future success best described by the Olympic motto of Citius, altius, fortius.
You could find out more about Aeroflot Russian Airlines HERE