Russia’s regional carrier Saratov Airlines has decided to sublease yet another Antonov An-148-100B jet from Rossiya Airlines, expanding the carrier’s fleet of this type to five, as opposed to the originally planned four. “Saratov buys a fifth An-148, which is planned to join our fleet in the first half of 2017,” said a Saratov Airlines spokesperson. “The fifth aircraft will be very actively used, first and foremost on domestic routes throughout Russia.”
An industry source familiar with Saratov Airlines told Russian Aviation Insider that the aircraft most likely to handed over from Rossiya is the An-148-100B with serial number RA-61701.
Saratov penned an agreement last year with Rossiya over the sublease of four An-148s, which began operating under Saratov in December.
Saratov Airlines’ current An-148-100B jets are operated as follows: two of them, RA-61703 and RA-61705, are in use under the contract with Rosneft oil company, in Krasnoyarsk Krai, in Siberia, according to Flightradar24. A third An-148 (RA-61704) is undergoing finishing maintenance and painting at Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (known as VASO), while the fourth and fifth An-148s are currently being held at Rossiya’s base in Pulkovo airport, in St. Petersburg.
Maintenance on the aircraft is carried out independently by Saratov staff, which operates under Russia’s FAP-285 certificate. In addition to its base in Saratov, the carrier has opened a line maintenance station in Yemelyanovo airport, in Krasnoyarsk, and plans to do the same at Pulkovo and Penza.
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