The republic of Yakutia needs 23 new regional turboprops

IL-114-300 The regional administration of Yakutia is considering IL-114-300s as replacements for its aging fleet of An-24s (Polar Airlines)

The administration of the Republic of Yakutia – a diamond mining area in a region some 40 per cent of which lies above the Arctic circle – has apprised Russia’s federal government of the region’s need for replacement turboprop aircraft to sustain and further develop local air connections.

The estimate is for 23 aircraft equal to the size of the Ilyushin IL-114-300 through the 2029 timeline, the republic’s transport ministry has revealed to state-run newswire TASS. The number is required to replace the region’s fleet of geriatric Antonov An-24s, a Soviet-built model that, in principal, is obsolete yet is still operated by those Russian regional airlines that have found no adequate alternative for the type. Sadly, the recent crash of the Angara Airlines An-24 in Nizhneangarsk may expedite their retirement decisions.

Polar Airlines, the regional carrier which is owned by the administration of Yakutia and which has been named as the likely recipient and operator of the new turboprops, is accountable for 40 per cent of intraregional traffic numbers, serving in excess of 120,000 passengers per year.

“Considering the current condition of the An-24 aircraft, we are working on [the possibility of] introducing the IL-114-300 to the airline’s fleet, once the serial production of the type is launched. The collective demand of Yakutia for the IL-114-300 is 23 up to 2029, including 21 units in the 2022-2026 timeframe,” the ministry comments.

Serial production of the modernised version of the IL-114, a project that has been postponed several times, may eventually start in 2023. The type was designed to accommodate operations on dirt strips, making it a versatile option for regional use. It also has a built-in air stair to facilitate passenger boarding at unequipped airfields.

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