Aurora Airlines Debuts, New Aeroflot Subsidiary to Serve Far East
Aeroflot, Russia’s state-owned flagship carrier, announced the formation of Aurora Airlines. The new carrier will serve Russia’s Far East region.
Aurora was formed by merging two Aeroflot subsidiaries, Vladivostok Air and SAT Airlines, which currently serve 42 and 15 destinations respectively. Both airlines have been a part of the Aeroflot Group since 2011. Aeroflot will hold a 51% stake in the new airline; the remaining 49% will be owned by the Sakhalin regional government.
By 2018, the new carrier plans to increase the number of daily flights from 172 to 534 and the number of destinations served from 30 to 128. Annual traffic is projected to reach 2.4 million passengers.
Aurora will initially operate Boeing 737 aircraft and will add three Airbus A319 jets by the end of the year. The airline will also operate turboprops with a capacity between 50 and 78 seats as well as smaller planes with up to 20 seats. It plans to have a total of 40 aircraft in its fleet within five years. Russian aviation sources said the turboprops could include new Bombardier Q400 aircraft.
The airline, which has no connection to a now-defunct charter airline by the same name, is intended to help stimulate the economic development of the Far East region.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)