Russian leisure carrier Royal Flight, which is backed by Turkish tourism group OTI Holding, has – for the first time in its short history – reduced its seat capacity by almost 10 per cent, by phasing out two 20-year-old Boeing 757-200 narrow-body airliners. The airline chose not to extend the contract after their five-year lease periods expired.
Royal Flight, which operates a Boeing-only fleet, phased out the aircraft (registrations VQ-BTM and VQ-BTN) with cabins configured with 224 seats. Five higher density aircraft of the type, each with seating capacities for 235 passengers, remain in service. Thus the airline’s overall seat capacity has been reduced by 9.6 per cent.
The airline’s future fleet plans remains unclear as, prior to publication, Royal Flight had not yet commented on its development plans.
Created in 2014, the Sheremetyevo, Moscow-based airline flies primarily in the interests of leisure travel agency Coral Travel (part of OTI Holding). Besides five Boeing 757s, it operates three B737-800s, three B767-300s and three B777-300ERs. The latter entered service in June and are its only aircraft furnished with business-class cabins.
In the January through October 2019 period Royal Flight carried 1.99 million passengers, up by 29.8 per cent year-on-year, thereby moving the airline into 11th place in Russia’s league table of the nation’s largest air carriers.
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