Russia’s Red Wings Airlines has leased three SSJ100s from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co (SCAC). The aircraft will be delivered before the end of 2014. The agreement is for one year, but could be extended.
Vnukovo-based Red Wings plans to operate the aircraft on routes from Moscow to Russian cities such as Ufa, Makhachkala, Chelyabinsk, Sochi and Mineralnye Vody. The carrier will increase its SSJ100 fleet to 15 aircraft in 2017, Red Wings CEO Yevgeny Klyucharev said in a statement.
According to SCAC president Ilya Tarasenko, Red Wings will use the aircraft to replace Tupolev Tu-204s on routes with lower passenger demand.
Red Wings’ fleet comprises eight Tu-204 aircraft, which joined the fleet from 2007-2009. One of the aircraft crashed at Vnukovo Airport on Dec. 29, 2012, prompting authorities to suspend the carrier’s air operator’s certificate (AOC); it was renewed several months later. The carrier resumed flights after Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev sold it to GHP Group and businessman Sergey Kuznetsov and turned it into a low-cost carrier (LCC).
In August, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade offered to equip Red Wings Airlines with additional Tu-204 aircraft to be used on flights to Crimea after Aeroflot’s new LCC subsidiary Dobrolet was forced to suspend operations Aug. 4 due to sanctions imposed by the European Union. It operated Boeing 737s.