Ryanair has been granted access to fly to Russia from its Dublin base, following the likes of easyJet which started flying from the UK this year.
Flights are likely to start in March 2014, flying from Dublin to both Moscow and St. Petersburg using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The Moscow airport to be used has not yet been decided, although Vnukovo is a firm favourite amongst experts.
Plans are afoot to turn the airfield at Ramenskoye, 40km south east of Moscow, into a new passenger airport which is aimed primarily at low cost airlines.
Currently Ramenskoye is used as a test facility for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and is also home to the MAKS Airshow every second year. The airfield has one main operational runway which is of sufficient length for airliner operations.
It is planned to construct a passenger terminal capable of handling up to 400,000 passengers per year. This would later be upgraded to handle 1.5 million passengers.
A second passenger terminal would be constructed from 2017 and the first terminal expanded further. Eventually it is anticipated the airport would handle up to 10 million passengers per year.
Cargo infrastructure would also be constructed.
Following from its recent aircraft orders, UT Air has now announced that it intends to retire its Tupolev TU-154 fleet by the end of 2013.
The airline recently retired the TU-134 from mainline service, and now the larger aircraft will disappear in favour of western and newer Russian types.
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UT Air has signed two lease agreements with VEB-leasing to bring a number of new Russian-made regional jets to its fleet.
One of the agreements is to finance six of the Sukhoi SSJ100 LR aircraft ordered by the carrier. The delivery of the single-class cabin aircraft seating 103 passengers will begin in 2014.
The second agreement is to lease ten of the UAC made MS-21-300 aircraft which are still in development, with aircraft delivery starting in 2018 and to be completed in 2020. The Irkut Corporation will also provide services for placing aircraft into service.
These announcements were made at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2013 at Zhukovsky.
Wizz Air continues to push east with the announcement today that it will commence 5x weekly flights from Budapest to Moscow Vnukovo.
Flights will begin on 23 September using Airbus A320 aircraft.
The announcement follows recent new route announcements by Wizz Air from Venice and Rome to Chisinau, and its first forays into Africa with new routes to Egypt.
New Lithuanian airline Air Lituanica has launched operations using a single Embraer 170 aircraft from its Vilnius base.
The airline has initially launched daily flights to Brussels, with the intention of attracting inbound tourism to Lithuania.
Flights to Amsterdam Schiphol are due to commence on 8th July, followed by Berlin on 5th August. Later, flights will be introduced to Moscow, Munich and Prague.
Air Lituanica flights are operated in cooperation with Estonian Air.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines is expected to announce that it is grounding its fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters.
The airline is struggling to compete against the increase in belly cargo carried by regular passenger airliners, which makes it hard to justify its cargo division, for which the MD-11s operate.
The airline currently operates three MD-11s, and it’s not known if they will be replaced by more fuel-efficient aircraft, or whether the division will be wound down.
Transaero Airlines continues to expand its cargo fleet with the addition of a second Tupolev TU-204-100C aircraft.
The TU-204-100C, tail number RA64051, was delivered to the airline upon the completion of the technical acceptance procedure at Ulyanovsk’s Aviastar-SP manufacturing company.
The first TU-204-100C cargo aircraft was delivered to the airline in April 2013.
Transaero has chosen the TU-204-100C aircraft with a view to enhancing its cargo transport operations. The acquisition of the freighter cements the airline’s commitment to supporting the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry.
The airline plans to operate the aircraft on domestic as well as international routes. Olga Pleshakova, General Director Transaero Airlines, said: “We plan to operate this cargo aircraft on the routes to Vienna and London as well as to other European destinations”.
Transaero Airlines has singed a deal to lease 12 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The airline already operates a number of the type, and plans to start taking delivery of the new aircraft from 2015. Transaero plans to operate these jetliners both on domestic and international routes.
In 1998 Transaero Airlines became the first in Europe and the second air carrier in the world to receive Boeing 737-700.
The last Tupolev TU-154 aircraft to be built will be handed over today, following a production run which started in 1970.
The Russian airliner, which closely resembled the Boeing 727, was designed in the late 1960s and went on to operate with airlines across the former Soviet Union, Middle East, and Far East. Around 1,000 examples were built over the for decades since production started.
Now, the Aviakor aircraft factory in Samara will deliver the final Tupolev Tu-154 airliner to the Defense Ministry in a ceremony attended by representatives of the Defense Ministry, the Tupolev aircraft design bureau and the Aviakor aviation plant.
The Aviakor factory, and numerous others around Russia, will continue to service and repair TU-154 aircraft for a number of years to come.
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