Aeroflot's new subsidiary "Aurora", key to develop Russia's Far East
In June we reported how Aeroflot was planning to give a new name to the new airline coming out of the merger of its two Far-Eastern subsidiaries: Vladivostok Avia (based in the city of the same name) and SAT Airlines (based in the island of Sakhalin).
Well, it seems a name has finally been found: Aurora Airlines ("Аврора" in Russian).
Far from being just a name change, Aeroflot plans a complete revamp of its regional operations in the Russian Far East, that had been dragging the company's financials in recent years. The plan for the next five years is quite ambitious, as it envisages a fleet renewal and expansion programme, getting to up to 40 aircraft in 2018 (3 A319s will already be received by Aurora Airlines before the end of this year) and an expansion of operations that will see the number of flights more than double and the number of destinations go from just 30 to 128.
An interesting project that fits into Russia's current interest in making of Vladivostok its own "window to Asia", a move spurred by the increasing share of East Asia in the World's financial and trade flows.