Air Samara sold King Air 350i’s to American companies
Russian regional airline Air Samara, which until recently was Russia’s only commercial operator of Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air 350i turboprops, has sold its three aircraft configured with 11 seats to two companies in the United States. The airline, 75% of which was controlled by Samara Administration, went out of business in February 2015.
According to the airline’s accounting report for 2015, the aircraft were written off the carrier’s balance sheet in the middle of last year. Two aircraft, with tail numbers RA-02779 (s.n. FL-858) and RA-02780 (s.n. FL-879), were sold to Meisinger Aviation, an aircraft brocker, for approximately 555 million rubles.
The last aircraft (RA-02778; FL-857) received a new owner, Westpack. This airplane is still being repaired by Beechcraft Berlin Aviation in Berlin Schoenefeld Airport after it made a wheel-up landing at Samara Airport in November 2014. The incident led to the airline’s Air Operator Certificate being revoked by the Federal Air Transport Agency.
The three King Airs were originally leased from the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK), and their initial cost was 6.7 million dollars per aircraft. In July 2015, Air Samara purchased all three aircraft from the lessor.
With these aircraft having left the country, only four airplanes of this type remain in Russia. Two of them (RA-02800 and RA-02814) are used as flying laboratories by Aerocontrol, which is affiliated with Russia’s ATM provider, the State Air Traffic Management Corporation. RA-02812 is used for aerial surveying by Meridian Aerogeodetic Enterprise. Petropavlovsk Group, one of Russia’s leading producers of gold, flies the 8-seat RA-02813.
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