Russian carrier Ural Airlines has started a new chapter with the delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft. The carrier has made big plans to modernize its fleet and has two more A320neo variants on order (including another long-range A321LR) as well as 14 Boeing 737 MAX 8s.
Who is Ural Airlines?
You might be forgiven if you are not familiar with the smaller Russian carrier. Ural Airlines, originally founded as part of Aeroflot during the USSR era, was designed to be the airline/airport company operating Koltsovo International Airport. Following the end of that government and the beginning of the Russian Federation, it was reincorporated into a stand-alone airline and listed on the stock exchange.
The airline has 49 aircraft as of this delivery, comprised of the following:
- Seven Airbus A319s
- 24 Airbus A320-200s
- 15 Airbus A321-200s
- Two new Airbus A320neos (and one more on the way)
- One Airbus A321LR (and one more on the way)
- And an ill-fated order for 14 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The airline has flirted with ordering some wide-body aircraft, but as of yet, they have not made a solid offer to any air leasing companies.
They primarily focus on domestic travel, with some international routes to neighboring countries. They were in the news recently when one of their A321s crashed in a cornfield after suffering an incredibly rare double bird strike. Thanks to the efforts of the pilots, the now powerless plane softly glided into a nearby farm where everyone was able to safely evacuate the aircraft.
This previous news did mean that they are were down a plane, but fortunately a new replacement aircraft has just been delivered…
What are the details of the delivery?
At the beginning of the month, Ural Airlines took ownership of a brand new Airbus A321LR from the Airbus delivery center outside of Hamburg. The aircraft is a lease from GECAS.
According to Flight Global, the aircraft is powered by two CFM International Leap-1A engines. and is configured in an all-economy set up of 236 seats in a 3-3 configuration.
“The A321neo will provide our pilots and crews commonality with our existing A320 family fleet along with the enhanced fuel efficiency of the LEAP engines,” notes Andrei Melnikov, Head of Fleet Development in the GECAS press release, adding “These new aircraft provide us additional capacity as we continue to grow and renew our fleet while offering our customers the comfort afforded by these modern aircraft.”
The new aircraft has already begun operations for the Russian carrier, flying It conducted between Ekaterinburg and Moscow Domodedovo on the 2nd of November. It is unknown at this time if the aircraft will be used on other routes such as the airline’s route to London or perhaps opening new international routes to the smaller cities of Russia.
Simple Flying reached out to the airline for comment.
What do you think of this delivery? Will you be flying in it? Let us know in the comments.