Only 3 airlines have direct flights to Sochi — Russia’s largest summer resort, from Saint-Petersburg — Russia’s second largest city, a home to over 4.5 million people… in the middle of the summer season. One of them flies with a stop in Krasnodar (that adds several hrs to your travel time), and another one of the three only flies 4 times a week.
Compare this to 12 (!) airlines (that I know of, there could be more) that have direct flights between Sochi and Moscow.
Many other cities have it worse than St. Petes, there either no flights, or flights only a couple of days a week. There’s no competition, and because it’s the middle of the vacationing season there are no special deals. This makes Sochi one very expensive destination to fly to.
Consider this: s Saint-Petersburg – Sochi round trip flight in the first half of August with convenient weekdays (weekends) and departure times on “Russia Airlines” – the only one that has direct, non-stop flights daily – costs 548,00 EUR ! And this is with 5% off for buying tickets online already calc’ed in.
At the same time there are plenty tours (which include travel, accommodation, and, often, food) offered to Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, and resorts in other countries for approximately the same price or even lower… while I couldn’t find anything similar for Sochi, or any other resort on Russia’s south.
And comparing these prices to the deals available on inter-European flights from low-cost European airlines, all this drives me crazy.