Russia’s Azimuth Airlines to develop its network beyond the CIS

Azimuth Airlines Azimuth currently operates nine Superjet 100 aircraft, all on long-term operating leases from Russia’s GTLK leasing company (Azimuth)

After only two years of operations, Russian regional airline Azimuth, based in Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, has been cleared to launch flights to truly international destinations beyond the CIS states.

From this winter season, the carrier is to significantly expand its network by launching new flights, including those to Tel Aviv (Israel) and Munich (Germany), thereby carrying estimated 1.2 million passengers this year, up by 79 per cent year-on-year.

From the 1st of December, Azimuth Airlines is to connect Tel Aviv with Rostov-on-Don and the airline has also informed Russian Aviation Insider that, from this IATA winter season, flights between Krasnodar and Munich will be launched, subject to all the necessary permissions. The carrier is also studying the possibility of commencing flights next year to Munich from Rostov-on-Don as well as to Dubai, Istanbul and Prague from both of its two base airports.

Apart from this winter’s new international flights, the airline is also expanding its domestic network. At the end of September Azimuth Airlines started flying from Kaliningrad to Krasnodar and this month it will also connect Astrakhan with Rostov-on-Don, with a stopover at Mineralnye Vody and, in November, will fly from Rostov-on-Don to Omsk. Flights from Rostov-on-Don to Chelyabinsk are also on the agenda.

The ambitious young airline, which operates a fleet consisting exclusively of Russian-built Superjet 100 (SSJ100) regional aircraft and is now considering adding the Airbus A220-300 (formerly the Bombardier CSeries), received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) only in August 2017, starting operations one month later in September. International flights to the CIS countries were launched in October 2018, following Rosaviatsia, Russia’s federal air transport authority clearance. Since last year, the airline has been serving Yerevan (Armenia) from Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, also flying from Rostov-on-Don to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Recently Azimuth received permission to fly to the Armenian capital from Kaluga.

The airline plans to carry 1.2 million passengers, including 97,500 on international routes this year. Last year Azimuth’s passenger traffic reached 669,000 customers. To support this network expansion strategy the airline has grown its fleet to nine SSJ100s and is planning to take three additional SSJ100s by the end of next year.

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