Russian Aviation Round-Up
There have been quite a few developments in the Russian commercial aviation in the past few days...
A321neo as a wide-body replacement?
S7 signed up a contract to become the first Airbus A320neo operator in Russia. It will get three A321neo and two A320neo on operating lease from Air Lease Corporation. What I found most interesting from this article (in Russian) that details the deal, is that S7 is thinking about the A321neos as a replacement for its Boeing 767s, as many of the routes that the latter operate, such as between Siberian cities and the resorts of South-East Asia, are within range of the re-engined A321s. An interesting option giving airlines more flexibility on length route, while remaining within a single aircraft family.
An emerging private airline group?
Red Wings and Nordavia are to form a unified company, after Russian magnate Sergey Kuznetsov, who already owned the former, acquired the latter from the metal-mining conglomerate Nornickel. Although they will be under the same holding company, it looks like the two airline brands are going to remain, though. A more noticeable change may be the switch to Red Wings all-Russian-aircraft fleet (Nordavia operates 9 Boeing 737-500s at the moment)
Superjets for Morocco?
Royal Air Maroc may be interested in 12 to 20 aircraft in the 100-seat category and the Superjet is a firm contender apparently. It would be the first African operator for the type (a wet-leased Superjet was already in service with the Moroccan flag-carrier a couple of years ago), that is already flying with airlines in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Shortest commercial flight in Russia?
And here the weird story of the week: some passengers enjoyed the "privilege" of flying between two of Moscow's airports, from Domodedovo to Vnukovo (some 45km apart), after their UTAir flight was diverted to Domodedovo due to weather conditions...But the airline let them stay on-board for the re-positioning flight, as they had to take connecting flights!