Azimuth Airlines will become the first Russian operator of the Airbus A220 after placing an order for six Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The airline will lease the aircraft from ALC, with the first of the type to be delivered in around a year. The news was announced this afternoon at the MAKS Air Show in Moscow.
The pandemic has shown us that the Airbus A220 is the little plane that could. The aircraft is operating more flights than pre-pandemic and is being noticed, as can be seen with Azimuth Airlines’ new commitment to the type.
About Azimuth’s order
Azimuth Airlines today revealed it would take six Airbus A220-300 aircraft, making it the first Russian airline to do so. Azimuth intends to fly the aircraft with a single cabin class. 148 economy seats will likely be arranged in a 2-3 configuration.
Azimuth will operate the aircraft from three of its bases. These are the ones in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, and Mineralnye Vody. The airline plans to use the aircraft on domestic flights to Siberia and short-haul international routes.
Commenting on the order, Julien Franiatte, Airbus’ Head of Russia, said,
“Azimuth Airlines carries over 1.2 million passengers [a year], and that achievement was done only after three years of operation. That, that shows the strength in those three years, and we have had COVID. So, it makes us all the more proud that you’re going to be a A220 operator.”
Who is Azimuth Airlines?
At this point, you may be wondering who Azimuth Airlines is? According to data from ch-aviation.com, the airline is a Russian scheduled carrier founded in 2014. Data from Cirium shows the airline as operating flights since September 2017. The airline serves 42 destinations across eight countries with 102 routes.
According to ch-aviation.com, the airline has three existing A220-300 orders placed on June 4th by Ilyushin Finance. While it is yet to take delivery of its first Airbus A220, the airline has a fleet of 14 Sukhoi SSJ100 aircraft. This consists of six 95B aircraft with an average age of 2.4 years and a further eight 95LR aircraft with an average age of 4.3 years. As such, the airline’s total average fleet age is just 3.5 years.
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Despite a slight wobble caused by COVID-19, Azimuth Airlines’ operations have been growing at a reasonably steady pace. According to aviation data experts Cirium, the airline operated just 40 flights in its first month. Within a year and a half, the airline hit the 1,000 flight mark.
At the height of the pandemic, the airline’s scheduled flights dropped to a low of 941 in May 2020. Despite this, the airline passed the 2,000 flight mark for the first time in May 2021, with 2,153 scheduled flights. This month it expects to operate 2,350, increasing to a max of 2,426 flights in December.
What do you make of the Azimuth Airlines Airbus A220-300 order? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!