Light in August
AUGUST IS THE BUSIEST SEASON
for hemisphere, international accordingair travelto the in Internationalthe northern Air
Transport Association, and the new terminal at
Pulkovo International Airport in St. Petersburg,
Russia, which opened in February 2014, is once
again ready to meet the demand—such as it is.
For years Russia’s passenger numbers
were steadily increasing—between 2010
and 2014, the country received eight million
more visitors—but recent developments,
including a slump in oil prices, a declining
ruble, and international sanctions, are taking
their toll. Fewer Russians are traveling abroad
to popular getaway spots like Turkey and
Cyprus, and due to political tensions, fewer
Europeans—traditionally the largest contin
gent of tourists in Russia—are visiting. Global
airlines, including Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific
and Germany’s Lufthansa, have slashed the
number and frequency of flights to Russia.
Russian airlines are retiring old airplanes and
deferring deliveries of new ones.
For the Russian tourism business, there
are glimmers of hope: More Asians are vis
iting, particularly from China, South Korea,
and Japan, and domestic travel—russians
traveling within Russia— is way up. Many will
include St. Petersburg on their itineraries and
will pass through the new terminal, which is
itself something to see. The faceted ceiling,
composed of metal panels and narrow sky
lights, spans more than 500,000 square feet.