Russia’s Azimuth Airlines reaffirms its faith in the Superjet

Azimuth Airlines The Azimuth fleet will increase to 11 SSJ100 regional jets :: Anna Zvereva // Wikimedia.org

Russia’s Azimuth Airlines has agreed to lease two more Superjet 100 (SSJ100) regional jets from the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK), in the first deal regarding the type since the tragic crash of an SSJ100 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in May of this year.

Azimuth, which is the only airline in the world whose fleet is made up exclusively of the Russian regional jets, has once again pinned its faith in the Superjet 100 by signing 12-year term operating lease agreements with GTLK, Russia’s largest lessor, for two of the type. The contract was inked at the on-going Zhukovsky, near Moscow, MAKS-2019 air show.

The first of the two contracted SSJ100s is expected to be delivered to the airline in October of this year and will begin scheduled flights in the carrier’s regional route network in November. Delivery of the other aircraft is planned “for a later period,” the airline says.

Upon completion of this latest transaction, the Azimuth fleet will increase to 11 Superjet 100s. The previous deal – for its ninth SSJ100 – was executed in April 2019, and all of Azimuth’s aircraft are on lease from GTLK.

The young carrier’s leadership has set an ambitious goal to almost double the number of passengers it will carry this year – up to 1.2 million. So far, so good, as Azimuth has already served some 666,000 passengers in the first seven months of this year, a 112 per cent improvement on the same period in 2018.

Established in 2017, and currently ranked 17th in the air passenger league table of Russian airlines, Azimuth Airlines is a carrier located in the south of Russia, based at the airports of Platov (Rostov-on-Don) and Pashkovsky (Krasnodar).

Previously, in an interview with ATO.ru, Russian Aviation Insider’s sister publication, Azimuth’s executive director noted that by the end of this year the carrier will be in a position to break even.

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