Russia’s Ural Airlines (U6) has enhanced its fleet with the arrival of a second leased Airbus A320neo. The aircraft, sporting tail number VP-BRZ, was delivered directly from the European aircraft manufacturer’s Toulouse base and will be operated under a lease agreement with CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of the China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co.
The latest A320neo, which entered service on September 14 performing the Yekaterinburg-Sochi route, allows the airline to open new services to longer distance destinations, one of which is the 5,000-km Yekaterinburg-Vladivostok route to be launched in November.
The latest aircraft has a two-class cabin layout designed to accommodate eight passengers in business class and 168 in economy. It is powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines, as the carrier’s first A320neo with registration number VP-BRX, which was received by U6 in August.
By the end of this year, the Yekaterinburg-based airline plans to take delivery of three more of the re-engined Airbus family: one A320neo (on lease from CDB Aviation) and two more capacious A321neo variants on lease from GECAS.
By 2025, the airline intends to enlarge its fleet size by 50 per cent, up to 70 aircraft. With the supply of these new aircraft, the carrier’s current generation A320ceo family will gradually be decommissioned. Currently, the Ural Airlines fleet consists of 46 aircraft (24 A320s, 15 A321s, five A319s and two A320neos).
In the first eight months of 2019, Ural Airlines transported some 6.4 million passengers, six per cent up on last year. In August, the airline’s growth rate decreased markedly, with 1.1 million passengers served, which is just two per cent more than in the same month of 2018.
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