Russian operator UTair has ordered 20 Eurocopter AS350B3/AS355NP Ecureuils. Deliveries will begin next summer and continue through 2013.
Russia-based operator UTair took delivery of two Mi-171 heavy twins in late June, some three months ahead of schedule, according to Russian Helicopters. The manufacturer explained UTair needed more aircraft to cope with an increase in freight traffic. Utair has now taken delivery of 39 of the 40 helicopters it ordered from Russian Helicopters in 2008.
Russian air transport giant UTair Aviation (Booth No. 1225) took center stage at Heli-Expo to sign an agreement with Eurocopter (Booth No. 2754) for the creation of an approved maintenance center for the OEM’s products and to work jointly on a new corporate interior design for the EC 175.
Piestany, Slovakia-based UTair Europe has announced “an expansion of its flight destinations and an increase in helicopter services” throughout Europe. It will thus build on momentum started by its two Mi-8Ts and two Mi-171s, which have been involved in a number of aerial work operations.
Surgut, Siberia-based TyumenAviaTrans (TAT) is scheduled to take delivery of a Gulfstream IV-SP in August and operate it on behalf of the owner, “one of the oil companies based in Tyumen,” according to the airline. The airline said it will become the first of its type to operate in Russia.
The governments of Russia and Ukraine have so far managed to prevent Western manufacturers from penetrating their countries’ markets for regional aircraft in the hope that local producers could develop competitive products. But officials have warned that prohibitive import taxes will not hold forever, particularly as Russia pushes ever harder for accession into the World Trade Organization.
A mystery buyer has bought nearly half the shares in one of the world’s biggest helicopter operators, Russia’s UTair Aviation. UTair, heavily involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations from East Timor to Iraq, has worked with the UN since the collapse of the Soviet Union and, with a fleet of nearly 200 rotorcraft, is one of its biggest helicopter service providers.
Siberian regional airline UTair has selected the Franco-Italian ATR 42 as its primary growth platform in the first-ever open tender for regional turboprops held by a Russian airline. UTair, ATR and Irish leasing company Magellan Air signed the respective letters of intent for five used ATR 42-300s on August 5, some three weeks before the parties expected to sign a firm contract.
Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia-based UTair is supporting South Africa’s summer aerial firefighting campaign, under a new contract awarded by the national forest fire association.
Russia’s UTair Airlines plans to begin offshore services in India by year-end, as part of a contract with Gazprom subsidiary Zarubezhneftegaz. A spokesman for the airline said that over-water flights would be a new departure for the company. “The contract is part of a program to develop our business outside Russia.”