The new system was introduced upon the initiative of charteres with the intention to optimize the cost of a seat to the maximum. Alexander Tugolukov, General Director of Biblio-Globus Travel Company, confirmed this information. According to him, the charter service cost has recently increased by 40%. ‘Not providing meals on board allows to economize 15$ per seat. Moreover, it is also of current concern given the increase in fuel prices when Russian tour operators are looking for alternatives in order to reduce expenses’, explained Tugolukov.
Furthermore, Marina Barinova, General Director Deputy of Super Nova Travel Company also emphasized that the initiative allowed to set more competitive prices.
According to tour operators, passengers on flights without meals on board took the initiative with understanding, however ‘there is information that first flights without meals were marked with several problems. Most probably, passengers did not know about the lack of the habitual service. The web site of Biblio Globus Travel Company has explanation about NN flights suggesting only drinks provided on board’, said Tugolukov.
Other travel companies are watching the development of events with interest. Thus, Tatiana Vand, General Director of Vand International Tour, commented as follows: ‘the initiative suggests active explanatory campaign for passengers. However, the launch of flights without meals is logical at the moment – in the situation of constant fighting for cheaper flights. Taking away the service does not mean dumping prices. Such flights might become popular if tourists prefer to economize on meals. Nevertheless, at present it is early to make forecasts – the outcome is to be seen’. Tatiana Chuvilkina, General Director Deputy of Natalie Tours, also pointed out that the most important is to provide information to tourist in advance and offer a choice.
‘In Europe flights without meals are quite common, meanwhile in Russia this practice is not popular at the moment. On the other hand, such flights might become attractive for inexpensive destinations’, said Revaz Mgeladze, General Director Deputy of Zeus Travel.