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Angara beefing up its An-148 fleet

Angara An-148The 75-seat An-148-100E (c/n 41-04, reg. RA-61709) landed in the airport of Irkutsk on 14 October 2014. It became the fourth of the type in the aircraft fleet of the local air carrier Angara. Since April 2014, the aircraft had been at VASO following decommissioning by its previous user, Polyot, which had flown it since August 2011. Angara awarded a financial leasing contract for its fourth and fifth An-148s to Sberbank Leasing Nord on 30 July 2014, essentially having inaugurated the An-148 secondary market in Russia.

As is known, Angara took delivery of its first three An-148-100Es in late 2012 under a contract with the Ilyushin Finance Co. leasing company. At MAKS 2013 air show, Angara and IFC signed a letter of intent on financial leasing of two more An-148-100Es during 2014. Since the VASO plant in Voronezh has its hands full with the orders for the type from the Defence Ministry and other government operators, however, a pair of An-148s released by Polyot came up handy for Angara's further development.

"The fifth aircraft, RA-61710 (c/n 41-06) shall be delivered in November 2014. It has already been painted in our colours, and the factory is completing a package of improvements", Angara Director Anatoly Yurtayev told Take-off.

It is worth mentioning that owing to the arrival of the fourth An-148, Angara's traffic dynamics exceeded the industry's average during January through August 2014, totalling 191,800 passengers carried - a 32.6% increase. Beefing up Angara's aircraft fleet will enable the company to fly to more destinations, and the extra aircraft are being bought for flight abroad as well. The first international service performed by Angara's An-148s was the one from Irkutsk to Ulan-Bator on 20 October 2014.

There will be new domestic operations in the An-148s' 2014-2015 winter schedule - from Novosibirsk to Khanty-Mansiisk, Bratsk and Khabarovsk, from Bratsk to Yakutsk and from Ust-Kut to Krasnoyarsk. Angara's managers stressed: "The An-148s have proven themselves since their service entry with the company, having proven their being the optimal solution for operations in Siberia and the Russian Far East".

(Photo: Voronezh Governor press office)

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