LCC Pobeda is reportedly ordered 15 Boeing 737MAX8s
Pobeda Airlines, the low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary of Aeroflot Group, has reached an agreement for the delivery of 15 Boeing 737MAX8s starting from late 2019, an aircraft leasing industry source has revealed to Russia’s Kommersant business daily.
Russia’s only discount airline is planning to grow its traffic to 16 million passengers annually by 2022 (up from 4.7 million last year) by doubling its fleet to 45 aircraft over the next two years.
Both Pobeda and its parent Aeroflot have been reluctant to disclose the LCC’s detailed fleet expansion plans, but sources both in the aircraft leasing industry and in the Aeroflot Group have confirmed that Pobeda has indeed been eyeing Boeing’s re-engined narrow-bodies.
The airline, which has posted vacancies for B737NG/MAX flight and cabin crews on an online job site, has admitted that it is “considering” adding the type to its fleet “in the future.” An Aeroflot source, however, has revealed that an order for 15 aircraft has already been placed, with the first deliveries due to start in the autumn of 2019. Pobeda currently operates 20 Boeing 737-800s and expects the delivery of 10 more aircraft by mid-2019, some of them under a sale-and-lease-back deal with Russia’s Sberbank Leasing.
An enlarged fleet is a prerequisite for boosting the airline’s traffic. In the first three months of this year, both Aeroflot and Pobeda increased their operational results by 400,000 passengers year-on-year. The LCC’s contribution to the Group’s total in the first half of the year was 12.5 per cent, or 3.1 million passengers, at an increasing and industry record seat load factor of more than 93 per cent.
Pobeda’s Q1 2018 yield, as defined by international financial reporting standards, grew by 55 per cent to five billion rubles, however losses increased proportionately to 736 million rubles in the period.
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