Route Analysis: Moscow Domodedovo-St. Petersburg

Russian LCC Smartavia is returning to the competitive Moscow-St. Petersburg market with the launch of a new seasonal route. The carrier last operated regular scheduled flights between the cities from October 2016 to March 2017, when it was then known as Nordavia. The route briefly returned in March 2018 but has been absent from the airline’s network ever since.

Flights from Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to St. Petersburg (LED) will begin in June 11 using Boeing 737-800 aircraft in an all-economy class configuration. The route will operate 4X-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays until June 20, and from June 25 service will reduce to 2X-weekly on Fridays and Sundays until Sept. 5.

The latter 2X-weekly service will depart DME at 7.10 p.m., arriving in LED at 8.45 p.m. The return flight leaves St. Petersburg at 9.30 p.m. and lands in Moscow at 11 p.m. The schedule suggests that Smartavia will largely be targeting leisure and VFR passengers who want to spend a weekend away in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

Given the existing fierce competition on routes between the cities, the carrier’s entry is unlikely to cause a ripple. OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c June 7, 2021 shows direct competition in the DME-LED market will be provided by S7 Airlines (57X-weekly), Ural Airlines (14X) and NordStar (2X).

In addition, Aeroflot, Nord Wind, Pegas Fly, Pobeda and Royal Flight Airlines serve LED from Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO), while Aeroflot, AZUR Air, Pobeda and UTair Aviation also fly from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO).

In total, there are currently about 121,500 weekly two-way seats between Moscow and St. Petersburg. This compares with 109,000 during the same week two years ago.





Boeing 737-800


2X-weekly (from June 25)

Start date:

June 11, 2021


666 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):

3.56 million

Annual growth:


Average base fare (2019):


Photo credit: Rob Finlayson

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.