Russia’s Ural Airlines takes another Airbus A321

The private carrier is to take two more of the type before the end of the year

Ural Airlines A321 A321 (registration VP-BVR) entered revenue operations with Ural Airlines on October 11 performing Yekaterinburg-Sochi flight (Ural Airlines)

Despite the adversities of the crisis-laden year, Russia’s Ural Airlines (U6) is proceeding with its fleet renovation programme. Last week the privately-run airline took delivery of its 16th Airbus A321ceo. Two more of the type are expected to join U6’s fleet before the end of the year.

The latest addition, with registration VP-BVR features economy-class only cabin configured for 220 passengers. The ten-year-old aircraft (MSN 4213), powered by IAE V2533-A5 engines, was initially intended for another Russian airline, Red Wings. However, the owner of the latter, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), changed the course for its airline subsidiary earlier this year, choosing to top its fleet with the Superjet 100, which UAC produces.

Ural Airlines currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 49 narrowbodies, including five of the newest A320neo family.

“All Airbus aircraft have proven highly efficient for medium-range operations. Our Airbus A320neo boast one of the highest daily utilization rates of 14 hours per aircraft. It is one of the best results in Europe,” the airline commented.

In the turbulent environment of the market plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ural Airlines demonstrated decent operational performance in September – the Yekaterinburg-based airline carried 888,500 passengers, which is 89.5 per cent of September 2019 levels. Whilst the bulk of international air connections remain closed, the airline is aggressively developing its domestic business. In September it managed to increase its domestic traffic 40 per cent year-on-year. In the first nine months of 2020 Ural Airlines served 4.5 million passengers, down 39 per cent on the same period last year. The airline reconfigured part of its fleet for cargo missions carrying humanitarian freight from China to Russia and Europe. Between April 13 and September 30 it carried 4,835 tons of freight on 494 dedicated flights.

Ural Airlines fleet includes three A320neos, two A321neos, 23 A320s, 16 A321s and five A319s.

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