Red Wings Starts Operating Tu-214
Albeit with some delay in its own plan to launch Tu-214 operations in the end of July, Red Wings, a commercial operator of narrow-body Tu-204s, has announced introduction of this type to its fleet.
According to Red Wings, the newly arrived Tu-214 has tail number RA-64518. The carrier’s general director Evgeny Klyucharev said the aircraft was subleased by Red Wings from Transaero which still exists as a legal entity.
Information available from open sources reveals the aircraft was built in August 2009 and is owned by the Ilyushin Finance Co. leasing company.
Klyucharev claimed Red Wings had intentions to lease one more Tu-214 and was considering RA-64510 manufactured in 2005 and previously operated by Dalavia. The aircraft lease agreement is brokered by Aviastar-Tu.
The airline hopes the introduction of Tu-214s to its fleet will allow the company to significantly expand the route network, a goal which seemed to be unattainable with the current fleeet of just seven Tu-204s.
Tupolev Tu-204, a twin-engine medium-haul aircraft with a seating capacity of 210 passengers, was initially designed as a replacement for Tu-154. The Tu-214 is essentially the same design, produced by a different OEM. Its main difference is increased MTOW and structural adjustments to support the weight. According to open sources, some 60 Tu-204s and its numerous modifications have been produced since the launch of production in 1989.
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