Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot has taken delivery of two Airbus A321s. The aircraft, powered by CFM56-5B3 engines and fitted with sharklets, have the tail numbers VP-BAX and VP-BAV. Both aircraft were delivered directly from the manufacturer’s plant in Hamburg, and are built in a 183-seat configuration, with 16 seats in business class and 167 in economy.
According to some reports, both were leased from the Chinese lessor ICBC Leasing. According to TASS newswire, the aircraft were originally meant to join the fleet of Russia’s Transaero, which went bankrupt in October of last year. The now-defunct airline ordered six Airbus A321s, managing to take delivery of just two, which it later returned to the lessor. ICBC Leasing also provided the leasing for these two aircraft.
A TASS newswire source said that the aircraft are “only partially up to Aeroflot’s standards” and that “they will meet company standards by the beginning of the summer season.”
It is still not certain whether or not the airline will change the seating configuration of the aircraft. The number of seats aboard these two A321s, just as the most recent four of these aircraft that were delivered to Aeroflot, contain 13 more total seats than the other A321s in the carrier’s fleet. Economy class was extended by the removal of 12 business class seats. Unlike most European carriers, Aeroflot installs real business-class seats in a premium class of its narrow-body aircraft, eliminating the possibility of altering the ratio of seats in business and economy class.
Currently, the fleet of Aeroflot includes 28 Airbus A321s. Also, the airline operates A320s, A330s, Boeing 737s, Boeing 777s and Sukhoi Superjet 100s.
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