Ural Airlines parks a third of its aircraft fleet

Russian carrier’s route network had decreased by more than 50 per cent

Ural Airlines Currently 16 aircraft are in hibernation at Yekaterinburg airport (Ural Airlines)

In the context of the calamitous decrease in air traffic numbers, Ural Airlines (U6) has parked a major part of its fleet at Yekaterinburg Koltsovo, its base airport, the Russia’s fourth biggest airline reports.

“Our planes, as our people, [wait] in anticipation of the normalisation of the situation in the world. Part of the Ural Airlines fleet [is therefore] temporarily parked at our base airport of Koltsovo. But we believe that everything will change for the better soon,” the statement adds.

The airline reveals that, currently, 16 aircraft – one third of its entire fleet – are in hibernation at Koltsovo. The privately owned company’s all-Airbus fleet consists of 48 jets (three А320neos, two А321neos, 23 А320s, 15 А321s and five А319s), all of which are on operating leases.

Previously, as part of Ural’s anti-crisis plan, it sent some flight crews away on paid leave, and a number of the flight attendants on leave.

At the end of March, the carrier temporarily transferred its ground personnel to a shorter working week, with payments of wages reduced in proportion to the hours worked.

The airline explained this measure by the fact that the airline’s route network had decreased by more than 50 per cent due to the ban on international flights, and that this development has led directly to a dramatic decrease in revenue.

In terms of traffic numbers, Ural Airlines is in the top five list of Russian airlines, with bases at Moscow Domodedovo, Yekaterinburg Koltsovo and St Petersburg Pulkovo airports. The main shareholder of the company is its chief executive Sergey Skuratov.

Ural Airlines was the world leader in Airbus A320neo family utilisation rates in 2019. According to Airbus records, the daily flight times of the Russian airline’s neo family aircraft reached an average of 14 hours, making it the most efficient operator of the type globally.

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