Russian airlines round-up: some financial moves

Traffic on Russian airlines grew on the first two months of the year to over 10 million passengers, an increase of 16.3%, compared to the same period last year. No wonder that Russian airports are thinking about how to finance new infrastructure and Russian airlines and leasing companies are placing new aircraft orders, like Sberbank's for 12 Boeing 737-800. Transaero is going to be the end user of these aircraft. Catalog price is $1B. but, as is usual in these cases, the real amount is unknown...

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And in unrelated news, billionaire owner of recently shut-down airline Red Wings, Alexander Lebedev, has sold his stake in the carrier for one ruble, according to Vedomosti to the co-owner of "Group Guta" and investment group GHP Mark Garber. Lebedev has also divested from Ilyushin Finance Company. What the future is for Red Wings airlines (if any at all) it is not clear yet at this stage.

Talking about Ilyushin Finance..there were also news that it is readying a long-range Il-96-400T aircraft with VIP configuration for government-owned oil company Rosneft. So another chance for planespotters to admire the design of Ilyushin's long range aircraft, according to Wikipedia, there are currently only 18 of them in active commercial service around the World! (plus a few more in military and VIP transport roles, including the Russian equivalent of Air Force One)