Russian state-owned regional carrier Khabarovsk Airlines has resumed commercial operation of its three LET L-410UVP-E20 Turbolet turboprop aircraft.
The airline is expecting delivery of a fourth 19-seat example of the type, which is assembled in Russia by Ural Works of Civil Aviation under license from the Czech OEM LET Aircraft Industries.
The carrier’s L-410 fleet was briefly grounded after the November 15, 2017 fatal accident involving one of its Turbolets (RA-67047) near the settlement of regional airfield Nelkan, some 1,000 km north of Khabarovsk.
The aircraft crash-landed and was damaged beyond repair, killing six of the seven people on board. The local authorities subsequently grounded the type pending the results of the inquiry.
During this period, air services to remote locations in the north of the region were provided using Mil Mi-8 helicopter operated by Vostok Airlines. In the meantime, Khabarovsk Airlines jointly with LET Aircraft Industries implemented the requisite upgrades on the carrier’s Turbolets.
The airline’s remaining Turbolets (RA-67035, RA-67036, and RA-67040) resumed operations on December 31. The aircraft performed a total of nine revenue return flights in the first 10 days of 2018.
The fourth aircraft, to be delivered to Khabarovsk Airlines under a lease agreement with State Transport Leasing Corporation (GTLK), is scheduled to enter service in Q1 2018.
The airline, which also operates a number of Soviet-made Antonov turboprops, relies on the L-410 for further fleet development. The carrrier is considering adding one more of the type in the future, saying that a minimum of five such airliners are required to meet the regional air travel demand. The operator is also looking into acquiring an upgraded version, the L-410NG.
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