Aeroflot on Tuesday welcomed the first non-Russian pilot to join Russia’s flag carrier. Klaus Rohlfs, a German citizen, expects to make his maiden flight as an Aeroflot captain from Moscow to Prague on Wednesday.
Former Aeroflot divisions
Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport still lays claim to being not only the busiest business aviation hub in Russia, but one of the busiest in Europe. According to the airport administration’s statistics made public as it was hosting the Jet Expo show, the airport’s Vnukovo-3 business aviation terminal served 19,437 business jet flights (with 133,000 travelers aboard them) last year.
Russia has banned flights over its airspace by Ukraine’s airlines, forcing Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) among others to re-route to eastern destinations from Kiev.
“UIA is deeply concerned with destructive actions of the Russian authorities and their controversial stand on transit flights of Ukrainian airlines banned from transit over the Russian territory,” the airline said in a statement on August 8. The airline said the ban would increase its operating costs by 15- to 20 percent, as well as lead to flight delays.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the country’s transport officials to draw up plans to block the use of Russian airspace by European Union (EU) airlines for flights to and from Asia.
Aeroflot’s new low-cost subsidiary Dobrolet became the first casualty of the new European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia when it was forced to suspend all operations on August 4. The Moscow-based carrier announced that it had had to stop all flights following the cancellation of insurance cover, access to aeronautical information, and maintenance and leasing arrangements.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC), Russia’s largest aircraft lessor, says it has lined up various prospective customers to discuss deals for Bombardier CSeries and Sukhoi Superjet aircraft. “We come here to see our airline customers in the first place. Meetings at the show have been arranged with twelve carriers interested in the CSeries and five ones considering the Superjet,” said IFC general manager Alexander Roubtsov. “Besides, we will host a number of events devoted to the Q series and the MC-21. Talking to banks is also important.
Aeroflot accepted its tenth Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 on June 26 in the so-called Full version, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) announced on Monday, thereby completing the transition of the fleet from 10 SSJ100 Lights, all of which the Russian flag carrier has returned.
Aeroflot low-fare subsidiary Dobrolet completed its first commercial flight from Moscow to Simferopol in Crimea, the Russian flag carrier announced Tuesday. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, senior executives from Russia’s transport industry and Aeroflot’s top management attended a ceremony at Sheremetyevo International Airport to mark the maiden flight.
For more than a year now the Sukhoi Superjet 100 has been carrying passengers with Indonesia’s PT Sky Aviation and Laos’ Lao Central Airlines. In December the Indonesians accepted their third aircraft and seem happy with the Russian 100-seat twinjet. The second airplane for Lao was ready by mid-summer and even made a public appearance at the MAKS 2013 air show in Moscow, but the aircraft has not yet been delivered to the customer.
The Russian parliament was presented with legislation last week to allow Russian airlines to begin hiring foreign pilots to meet an expected shortfall in experienced crews. Currently only Russian citizens may fly Russian airliners. The move comes just a month after the crash of a Boeing 737 at Kazan Airport, 450 miles southeast of Moscow, in which it appears the pilots lost control of the aircraft, killing all 50 people on board. Shortcomings in crew qualifications have already been cited as possible factors in that accident.
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