As Covid-19 slows down passenger traffic, Russia’s largest private carrier has launched the airline industry’s first flight-sharing app, enabling users to book entire aircraft to fly around the country.

Siberia-based S7 Airlines has launched the S7 Select mobile app on the car-sharing Yandex.Drive platform. The flight-sharing service is offered in all Russian cities where the popular car-sharing service is available.

The S7 Select program will allow the booking of one-way or round-trip domestic flights, departing only from Moscow. The collaboration will reportedly last for two weeks and started on January, 25, but the air carrier has pledged to expand the service.

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A flight calculator on the company’s website allows users to choose their destination, date, service grade and additional services. After calculating the price, an S7 operator will then contact the customer to get personal details and conclude the transaction.

A one-way economy-class flight for 50 passengers from Moscow to Sochi will cost around $18,200, or $363 per passenger. Passengers may bring pets, in accordance with the current regulations.

The new service provides 24 business-class and 72 economy-class seats in new Airbus A319 Extra Edition airplanes. The carrier provides the same inflight services as during standard flights, but customers may discuss any additional requests with S7.

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FILE PHOTO © Sputnik / Vitaly Belousov
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The series of lockdowns tied to the Covid-19 pandemic have significantly reduced passenger traffic, forcing global carriers to seek new sources of revenue. In December, Russian low-cost airline Pobeda launched regular “flights to nowhere.” Passengers get to go through all the standard boarding procedures in Moscow, fly above the city for an hour and a half, before landing back in the Russian capital.

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