Russian airlines round-up (8/2/13): Superjet's reliability, Aeroflot posters and more...
Some interesting news this week about Russia's two main civilian airliner programmes. While Irkut's MS-21 continues to make progress, the first major fuselage section has been assembled, Sukhoi's Superjet is again under suspicion. According to this article (in Russian) Aeroflot is not particularly happy with the Superjet's reliability: this aircraft type makes 8% of Aeroflot's fleet, but is responsible for 40% of technical incidents!
An aircraft the Russian flag carrier can count on from now on is the Boeing 777-300ER, that has finally entered service this week on the route between Moscow (Sheremetyevo) and Bangkok. Aeroflot has finally become the third triple-seven operator in Russia, after Transaero and Orenair, although it does so after a number of administrative issues that have delayed the aircraft's entry into service. Every day of delay causes the airline a loss of $50,000, so now Aeroflot wants to sue the aviation authorities asking for compensation.
By the way, still in relation to Aeroflot: if Aeroflot's 90th anniversary was featured on the latest "Russia airlines round-up", today I could not avoid sharing this collection of downloadable posters about Aeroflot's history that is available on the Russian language version of the airline's website!
Also in the news this week was the liberalisation of air traffic rights between Moscow and the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. An important route in the post-Soviet space that now sees around 14 flights a day, operated by 5 different airlines.
And talking about regulations: a number of incidents sparked by drunken passengers on Russian aircraft have raised concerns about alcohol abuse during flights, to the point that the Russian authorities are considering tightening in-flight alcohol sale regulations , even for duty-free items. As you might imagine, the industry is not too happy about it...
Spot the differences!