Russian Government Considering New Far East Regional Carrier

Credit: Ural Works of Civil Aviation

MOSCOW— The Russian government is considering a new airline in the country Far East to connect remote areas of the region.  

The possible carrier was discussed at a December 2019 meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, after which the commitments were enacted and published on Jan. 14. 

According to the commitments document, the government must specify the carrier’s main aircraft type—which has to be Russian built—and provide estimates for its regional network and possible traffic. The specifications also must take into account airports and potential reconstruction needs within the confines of the “comprehensive plan of the main infrastructure modernization.”

Besides fleet and network, the government has been instructed “to prepare proposals ... aimed at reducing the final fuel cost in the Far Eastern Federal District and remote areas.” The deadline for proposals is Jan. 31. 

Daily newspaper Kommersant, citing industry sources, reported that Aeroflot Group could set up a new airline, as it already operates Far East-based Aurora Airline. 

Ural Works of Civil Aviation general director Vadim Badekh told TASS news agency the company is ready to provide 19-seat Let L-410 turboprops for the new carrier. Currently, the manufacturer can produce up to 20 Czech-designed aircraft per year but could increase future capacity. 

Apart from the L-410, the Russian airline industry plans to produce the 50-70 seat Ilyushin Il-114-300 turboprop for regional routes. The government must also consider the possible production launch of regional Baikal aircraft, based on the 12-seat TVS-2DTS turboprop, according to the document.

Polina Montag-Girmes

Polina joined the Air Transport World team in 2011, covering Russian and the Commonwealth of Independent States. She studied journalism at Moscow State University and worked as a journalist for Russian business and airline publications since 2000.