Saratov Airlines intensifies E195 operations

Saratov airlines has managed to achieve high utilization rate of their E195 fleet thanks to MSG-3 implementation Saratov airlines has managed to achieve high utilization rate of their E195 fleet thanks to MSG-3 implementation (Photo by Saratov Airlines)

Saratov Airlines, Russia’s only operator of ERJ190 regional aircraft, has achieved maximum average daily utilization rate of its fleet of two 119-seat E195s (ERJ190-200) in three years since it began operation of the type. The record was set in August 2016, according to data provided to Russian Aviation Insider by the carrier.

Further improvement could be facilitated through improvement of ground handling services at Russian regional airports, the airline’s spokesperson commented.

It is not the first occasion the Russian airline appears on the list of ERJ190 family aircraft leading operators by utilization rate. In the summer of 2015 the airline reported reaching impressive – even by global standards – operational performance indicators with the type.

The high season of 2016 did not become an exception from the rule. In June this year Saratov Airlines became the world’s fifth E190’s operator by utilization rate with average daily flight time of 9.07 hours. In August this indicator increased to 10.11 flight hours per aircraft per day, with 5.77 daily flights of an average duration of 1hr 45 min, raising the airline to the fourth position in the rating.

“In July the average flight time was 9.98 hours per day, just a bit less than in August. In August that indicator increased due to a tighter schedule. The average flight duration remained roughly the same, whereas the number of flights increased,” Saratov Airlines’ director for quality Yuriy Prigorodov told Russian Aviation Insider.

“If you take utilization rate as the main criteria, then E195 have long become the main aircraft type for Saratov Airlines on our regional lines,” he explained. By comparison, the seven Yakovlev YaK-42s of similar capacity flew in average 156 hours, each, demonstrating the average daily flight time of 5.03 hours.

Now that the airline has switched to the winter schedule the utilization rate will naturally decrease. In September each of the two aircraft in average 8.56 hours a day, making in average 4.92 flights a day of the standard duration.

In August this year the E195 utilization rate was the highest in the airline’s almost three year history of operating the type.

However, Moldovan carrier Air Moldova became world’s leader in terms of ERJ190 utilization rate in August. Compared to June of the same year, its utilization rate grew almost 80%, to 15.18 ours per day.

According to the airline’s web-site it operated regular flights to 25 destinations within its summer schedule (20 in the spring). The airline was following a strategy of developing transit air travel through Chisinau, and the number of daily flights the airline operated aboard ERJ190 increased 1.82 times, whereas the average duration remained the same.

“To exceed 12 hours of average daily flight time no maintenance operations, including bulletins or ADs, or A-checks or even preventive maintenance should be planned for the given month,” Saratov’s Prigorodov explained. He also insists that optimal operations of ground handling services are vital for reaching higher utilization rate.

“There have been cases in several regional airports, when customs and immigration services did the most scrupulous inspection of the aircraft prior, and especially after an international flight. They would open all the hatches, even those that are not supposed to be opened in routine operations. The captains were forced to give detailed explanation of the contents of each garbage bag, and technical staff were not allowed on board for an hour after landing,” Prigorodov complained, noting that even large Moscow airports like Domodedovo are better in this respect.

World’s leading operators of ERJ190 family aircraft by utilization rate, in August 2016
position Airline / country average daily flight time number of aircraft
1 Air Moldova / Moldova 15,18 2
2 TUIfly / Belgium 10,80 3
3 Belavia / Belarus 10,47 2
4 Saratov Airlines / Russia 10,11 2
Air Costa / India 3
5 Bulgaria Air / Bulgaria 9,54 4
6 Air Canada / Canada 9,46 25
7 UIA / Ukraine 9,02 5
8 Royal Jordanian / Jordan 8,99 2
9 Hebei Airlines / China 8,83 6
10 Montenegro Airlines / Montenegro 8,60 4
Air Astana 7,53 9
AZAL 6,41 4
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