Russia’s Utair Aviation has begun operating Sukhoi Superjet 100s (SSJ100) aircraft that belong to Irkutsk-based IrAero Airline after forming a mixed cooperative partnership where Utair assumes marketing and financial operations and IrAero supplies flights, staff and technical support under contract on Utair routes.

Utair operated the first SSJ100 flights from its base at Moscow International Vnukovo Airport on April 15. The airline performs 3X-daily SSJ100 service from Moscow to Kazan, as well as daily service from Moscow to Arkhangelsk, Nalchik and Ulyanovsk.

According to the carrier, the SSJ100 is more efficient on short routes.

Utair’s passenger traffic increased 18.9% in January-February 2018 to 1.13 million. The carrier will further develop its network for the summer season and forecasts additional traffic growth, Utair passenger airline president Pavel Permyakov said.

The carrier planned to lease six SSJ100s in 2013, but later abandoned the idea following the implementation of a cost-cutting program because of a traffic downturn.  

Irkutsk-based IrAero has eight SSJ100s, four Bombardier CRJ200LRs and several regional Antonov aircraft.  

Polina Montag-Girmes