Russia’s Azur Air’s all-Boeing fleet grows to 30 aircraft
The fleet of Azur Air, Russia’s largest charter airline, has grown to 30 Boeing aircraft. The latest addition is a 20-year-old Boeing 767-300ER, tail number VP-BRA (construction number 27477). The Russian-based, Turkey-backed carrier took this GE CF6-80C2B-powered wide-body aircraft on lease in mid-November. It is 12th of the type in its fleet, with all of them configured with 336 full economy class seating.
The latest aircraft arrived at the carrier’s Moscow Vnukovo Airport base in the livery of its Ukrainian affiliate Azur Air Ukraine, for which it was originally intended, but Azur Air remains tight-lipped about its future development strategy and its plans for the acquisition of additional aircraft, as it declined to comment to Russian Aviation Insider.
The airline has previously insisted that it is backed by its ‘strategic partner’, Turkish travel operator Anex Tour. But industry observers believe that Turkish tycoon Neshet Kockar, founder and owner of the Anex Tourism group of companies, is actually the beneficial owner of the carrier. Nevertheless, the future of Anex in Russia looks bright, as Kockar disclosed last week that he had acquired Russia’s oldest travel agency Intourist from the insolvent Thomas Cook.
In addition to 12 Boeing 767-300s, there are four Boeing 737-800s, two Boeing 737-900s, eight B757-200s and four Boeing 777-300s in the Azur Air fleet.
During 2019, the carrier received five aircraft in total. The expansion of the fleet has allowed the airline to significantly increase its operational results. In the first nine months of this year it served 4.53 million passengers, up by 38 per cent year-on-year.
Created in 2014, on the back of small regional carrier Katekavia, Azur Air has now grown into Russia’s seventh largest airline by passenger traffic and is accountable for one third of the country’s entire charter air travel market.
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