The world’s only all-Superjet 100-operator, Russia’s Azimuth Airlines, has taken delivery of the first of two of the type scheduled for this year.
The Russian-built regional jet (registration RA-89136, MSN 95180) is a long-range (LR) version and is the ninth in the fleet of the Rostov carrier.
Like all other deliveries, the latest fleet addition arrived at Krasnodar’s Pashkovsky airport directly from the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) facility and is on lease from the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK).
The aircraft offers a convertible cabin designed to accommodate either a total of 100 passengers in full-economy class, or eight in business with 85 in economy. It will be used “on a growing destination network,” the airline points out.
According to this year’s first-quarter results, the airline carried some 231,900 passengers, an impressive 266.8 per cent improvement on the same period a year earlier. In keeping with the growth of its fleet, the young carrier has simultaneously increased its destination network and is planning to prepare for an international air services permit. In September, it will be two years since the company launched its operations.
Last year, Azimuth’s management declared its ambitious goal of doubling its traffic to 1.2 million passengers in 2019 (from last year’s 669,000 total). To reach this target the young airline needs to undergo a fleet expansion programme whilst increasing its daily utilisation rate of the SSJs to at least nine or 10 hours per aircraft.
The carrier also plans to climb into the black before the end of this year, Eduard Teplitsky, its executive director, revealed in an interview with ATO.ru, Russian Aviation Insider’s sister publication.
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