Russian regional carrier Azimuth Airlines has announced ambitious business expansion plans for 2019. The target for this year is 1.2 million passengers on 13,900 flights, Oleg Dyshkant, Azimuth’s network and revenue director revealed at a recent press event which was called to herald the opening of yet another regional route, between Krasnodar and Bryansk.
The start-up carrier has confirmed its plan to almost double its operational results, an aim first revealed in an interview with Russian Aviation Insider’s sister publication ATO.ru.
Based at Rostov-on-Don’s brand new Platov Airport, Azimuth Airlines finished 2018 by ranking 20th in the list of Russian airlines by passenger numbers. But its fleet of eight Russian-made Superjet 100 regional jets is projected to grow, with the addition of two more aircraft in time for the coming high summer season. The new SSJ100s will be delivered through the airline’s sole lessor, State Transport Leasing Corporation (GTLK), Russia’s largest leasing company.
Having launched operations in September 2017 and after its first full year of operation, the young airline carried 669,400 passengers on 8,200 flights with a seat load factor of 82.6 per cent in 2018. Serving mostly domestic routes from the southern region of Russia with its range of summer leisure destinations, the airline earlier said it is aiming to climb into the black in 2019 with the break-even point set for the end of the year. As well as adding more aircraft, its 2019 targets also include increasing the average daily fleet utilisation to nine or 10 hours per aircraft.
Azimuth is the world’s only all-Superjet 100 operator and, after launching its first flights outside Russia to the two CIS capitals of Yerevan (Armenia) and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) out of Rostov last October, the plan for this year includes the launch of truly international services from Rostov and Krasnodar to destinations in Germany, Israel and Turkey.
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