Aeroflot airline to reinvent its fleet with Airbus’ new generation aircraft only

Russia’s flag carrier considers to acquire 80 A350s and 94 A320neo family aircraft through 2028

Aeroflot Airbus only Aeroflot’s Airbus A350 fleet may grow from one to 81 aircraft in eight years (Pulkovo airport)

An airline industry source close to Aeroflot Group has revealed more details on the revolutionary programme, which slated to place the Russian flag carrier among the world’s top Five-Star airlines. According to this insider information, by 2028 Aeroflot would operate Airbus-only fleet of 175 aircraft, with Airbus A350 as core of its long-haul operations. 

The airline’s fleet plan is part of the Aeroflot Group’s new ambitious strategy for the period up to 2028 that was presented to Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin by the group’s general director Vitaly Saveliev and approved by the group’s Board of Directors on July 16.

The state-run group, which combines the title carrier Aeroflot with subsidiaries Rossiya Airlines, low-cost carrier (LCC) Pobeda Airlines, targets 130 million passengers annually by 2028, while operating a fleet of 600 jets. The strategy also calls for further differentiation among the group’s airlines in terms of their individual priorities and operating models. As a result Aeroflot would reemerge as a world-class premium carrier with predominantly international operations.

The details of the strategy, which were not then revealed to the public, include the plan to “gradually unify” Aeroflot’s fleet, which by 2028 would consist of Airbus-only aircraft. According to a source 81 Airbus A350s, a mix of -900 and bigger -1000, would serve the airline’s long-haul operations, whilst its medium-haul segment would rely on 94 of Airbus’ re-engined A320neo family aircraft, including 75 A321neo and 19 A320neo.

Aeroflot currently operates 19 Boeing 777-300ERs, 18 Airbus A330s, one A350-900, 47 B737-800s, 74 A320s, 33 A321s and 54 Superjet 100s. To make way for its would-be new generation all-Airbus fleet, the airline plans to phase-out all of its A330s and A320/A321ceos. All B737s will be transferred to LCC Pobeda, while Boeing 777s and Superjet 100s will be moved to Rossiya Airlines.

The traffic target (which will be essentially international one) for Aeroflot airline, without its sister carriers Pobeda and Rossiya counted, is to reach between 35 and 40 million passengers per year by 2028. This is roughly level with the airline’s 2019 total traffic results of 37.2 million passengers, but only 52 per cent of these passengers were served on international routes.

Such significant international traffic increase can be achieved not so much by meeting the needs of Russians travelling abroad, but primarily by the transit of passengers from Southeast Asia to Europe and America, via its Moscow’s Sheremetyevo hub and possibly would-be Siberian regional hub in Krasnoyarsk.

It is safe to assume that the airline will need its fleet of medium-haul Airbus A320neo family aircraft to provide flights in the European and Mediterranean regions.

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