S7 Airlines to lease E170LRs with extra seats

S7 Airlines is rebranding and looking to expand its domestic presence with Brasilian regional jetliners All of the carrier's Embraers will seat more passengers in coach (Keith Newsome)

Irish-American lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has contracted AKKA Technologies of France to overhaul the cabins of 17 Embraer E170LR airliners to be leased to Russian carrier S7 Airlines, MRO Network resource reports. The job will be performed by AKKA’s maintenance division Aeroconseil. S7 will introduce the new type as part of its rebranding campaign. The airline’s new livery to be applied to the E170LRs was originally meant to first appear on its A320neos, which are also set to enter service with S7 in 2017.

The French interior specialist is to install two additional passenger seats into each of the 17 aircraft. Consequently, the aircraft will have all-economy cabins seating 78 passengers. The overhaul is scheduled to be completed within three months.

S7 Airlines is adding extra seating capacity to achieve higher yields on typically low-margin domestic routes, which its E170s are intended for. The airline hopes to increase its presence on the domestic market as Soviet-built Antonov An-24s and An-26s get written off, forcing regional carriers to look for costly replacements.

The Embraers will be among the first airframes in the S7 fleet to sport the airline’s rebranded livery. The new paint job retains the carrier’s signature green color, but there will be no darker-green passenger silhouettes on the fuselage, and the logo font and background have also been tweaked. Overall, the new color scheme is somewhat less aggressive subjectively. The original S7 livery design was introduced 12 years ago, and was voted one of the worst liveries by Flight International in 2014.

All of S7’s 17 Embraers will come pre-owned. Deliveries are scheduled for 2017-18. The carrier will become Russia’s first operator of the type.

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