UKRAINE: Windrose Airlines

Windrose Airlines, legally Wind Rose Aviation Company, is a Ukrainian charter airline based at Boryspil International Airport.

Founded on 28 October 2003, the airline’s headquarters is in Kiev; it operates charter flights to destinations in Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

The airline was established in 2003 to provide charter flights to destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

Its most probably part of the Privat Group of billionaire Igor Kolomoysky – PrivatBank, Ukraine International Airlines, Dniproavia, insolvent AeroSvit, CimberAir, Donbassaero.

In 2006, regular flights to Moscow and Kaliningrad in Russia were initiated.

In 2008 the company expanded its route network, then sharply reduced it.

Since 2008, Windrose Airlines has focused on charter flights.

From 2010 to the present day, the airline has been licensed to operate regular flights, should the need arise.

The airline was the first to carry out flights basing its aircraft at various airports in Ukraine.

Windrose Airlines operates charter flights to and from the following destinations:

Salzburg – Salzburg Airport

Sofia – Sofia Airport

Sharm el-Sheikh – Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport

Hurghada – Hurghada International Airport

Kittilä – Kittilä Airport

Rovaniemi – Rovaniemi Airport

Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion Airport

Brescia – Brescia Airport

Tivat – Tivat Airport

Tenerife – Tenerife Airport

Maribor – Maribor Airport

Antalya – Antalya International Airport

Kharkiv – Kharkiv International Airport

Kiev – Boryspil International Airport

Ivano-Frankivsk – Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport

The Windrose Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft.

Airbus A320-200 – 1

Airbus A321-200 – 4

Airbus A330-200 – 1

Embraer 145 – 5

Total – 11

Tourism Observer

RUSSIA: Aeroflot Sold 4.8% Shares To Secret Investors

Russia’s largest airline Aeroflot has sold 4.8% of its shares to an undisclosed buyer.

The shares in question belonged to the carrier’s subsidiary Aeroflot Finance.

The shares represented a quasi treasury stock used for voting purposes by the airline’s management.

The impending sale of this stock had been mentioned previously in the context of Aeroflot’s upcoming privatization.

The shares were sold within 24 hours after the airline announced the intention on September 19.

The transaction brought the carrier’s publicly traded stock up to to 45.8%; its capitalization reached $1.583 billion.

The deal gained Aeroflot 9.8 billion rubles ($168.9 million).

The money will be spent on general corporate needs.

Kommersant reports that the initial plan was to sell the stock along with the shares held by Rostec Corporation.

The transaction was supposed to be part of a plan aimed at diluting the state’s share in Aeroflot to 50% +1 share.

The plan had been approved by President Vladimir Putin in 2014.

At present, the Russian government holds 51.2% in the airline through the Federal Agency for State Property Management.

Rostec’s share stands at 3.3%; a further 6.1% of shares is in the hands of private holders.

The planned privatization is to leave the state with the blocking stake of 25% +1 share.

However, last year the Ministry of Economic Development annmounced it would not reduce the government’s participation in Aeroflot before 2020.

In the first half of this year, Aeroflot Group which also owns Rossiya Airlines, Aurora Airlines, and Pobeda Airlines reported a 17.1% net profit increase to 2.890 billion rubles.

The group’s EBITDA decreased 48.7% to 15.403 billion rubles over the same period.

Tourism Observer

CHINA: Russia And China To Develop Gas-turbine Engine For Joint New Long Range Passenger Jet

Russia will help China design the engine for the new long-range passenger jet.

The powerplant will be a joint development of the two countries.

Russia and China have agreed to develop a gas-turbine engine for the joint commercial aircraft (LRWBCA).

The memorandum of cooperation was signed by Russia’s United Engine Corporation (UEC) and China’s AECC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co. (AECC CAE) at Aviation Expo China 2017 in Beijing.

UEC says the program’s priorities are to research the widebody aircraft market and identify potential customer rquirements.

The Russo-Chinese intention to jointly develop the engine was first announced in 2014.

Back then, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Yury Slyusar now president of the United Aircraft Corporation, stated that the parties had already begun working on the project.

The powerplant was expected to produce upwards of 30 tons of thrust.

It was initially planned that China would work independently to create a new engine for the joint aircraft.

However, later on the Chinese authorities turned to UEC for help.

Now both the Russian party, which is developing the Aviadvigatel PD-35 engine, and China are going to propose their engines.

The PD-35, which is under development at UEC for future long-range widebody airliners, is still in the works and should hit the market in 2030.

The LRWBCA will be initially powered by Rolls-Royce or General Electric powerplants.

The official launch of the LRWBCA program got delayed until this spring, when COMAC and UAC registered a joint venture in China.

Overall demand for the future aircraft is estimated at 800 to 1,000 units; deliveries are to start in 2027.

Tourism Observer

RUSSIA: UVT Aero To Commence International Flights

Russian carrier UVT Aero, which launched operations in July 2015, has been cleared by the national aviation authority to perform international flights.

Under Russian laws, a newly established airline can be authorized to fly abroad commercially after two years of domestic operations.

The Tatarstan-based airline filed the relevant request with the Federal Air Transport Agency on July 10, 2017.

It then successfully passed the requisite fleet, personnel, and documentation inspections.

UVT Aero has yet to officially identify its international destinations.

The airline is reportedly planning to fly from Kazan to the exclave city of Kaliningrad, which is separated from mainland Russia by foreign territory so requires an international flight clearance to get to.

UVT Aero CEO Petr Trubaev in August 2016 said the carrier was planning to launch flights to CIS countries first, to be followed by services to farther abroad.

One year later, the operator announced it would be renewing its fleet of seven 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.

UVT Aero is currently choosing between the Embraer E190/E195, Airbus A319, and Boeing 737-700; the management not ruling out the possibility of going for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet.

The Tatarstan government is expected to have a say in the final decision.

New aircraft should be delivered in Q1 2018, so that the carrier could start the new summer season with a larger fleet.

The airline is expecting to receive three aircraft initially, which it will use for charter operations.

Subsequent fleet expansion is to proceed gradually.

UVT Aero is based at Tatarstan’s Kazan, Bugulma, and Begishevo airports. In January through July 2017 it ranked 30th on the list of Russia’s largest airlines by passenger traffic, serving more than 130,600 passengers (+23% year-on-year).

The carrier expects to turn a profit of 118.9 million rubles ($2 million) this year, despite having launched a costly scheduled engine repair program.

Tourism Observer

RUSSIA: Nordwind Airlines Leasing Two Boeing 777-300ER Widebody Airliners

Russian carrier Nordwind Airlines is leasing two Boeing 777-300ER widebody airliners from Dubai-based lessor DAE Capital (part of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise). The aircraft were previously operated by EVA Air of Taiwan.

To implement its feeder strategy, which covers 200 destinations, in the coming fall-winter season, Nordwind Airlines continues to expand its widebody fleet and is preparing to put two Boeing 777-300s into operation.

The first of the two aircraft arrived at the airline’s home base Sheremetyevo on August 31.

Following the requisite customs procedures, in early September the airliner will start performing charter flights from Moscow.

The carrier will receive the second aircraft next week.

The two Boeings, to be registered as VP-BJL and VP-BJO, were built in 2005. They will become the first airliners in Nordwind’s fleet to have a three-class cabin layout,312 seats in total: 38 in business, 63 in premium economy, and 211 in coach.

Nordwind already operates four Boeing 777-200s, which seat 393 passengers in two classes.

The new addition will bring the carrier’s total fleet up to 22 aircraft.

It also has Airbus A330-200s, A321s, and additional four airframes are expected to be delivered by year-end.

Nordwind’s passenger traffic grew 85.4% year-on-year in January-July 2017, reaching 1.598 million; its seat load factor droped by 2.9 percentage points to 86.9%.

Nordwind Airlines is a Russian scheduled and charter airline.

The company is headquartered in Moscow, with its main hub at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Nordwind Airlines primarily operates service between airports in Russia and holiday destinations around the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Nordwind Airlines was founded in August 2008 by the Russian and Turkish branches of tour operator Pegas Touristik, initially operating 3 Boeing 757-200 aircraft to/from 6 cities.

Since then, the fleet has been greatly expanded, including the introduction of the Airbus A321 and the Boeing 767-300.

By 2015, Nordwind operated service to/from 33 cities.

In 2017, the company expanded its fleet with 2 A330s.

The number of passengers transported was as follows:

Year Passengers
2008 20,000
2009 555,000
2010 1.2 million
2011 1.7 million
2012 2.2 million
2013 3.4 million
2014 4.4 million

Nordwind operates service to Europe, Middle East and Africa,South America and Asia.

Tourism Observer

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazan Helicopters To Upgrade Ansat Helicopters

Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters, is planning to upgrade its Ansat light rotorcraft.

The news was announced at the annual conference of Ansat operators, which was held in Kazan on September 14.

The upgrades will be made to the version equipped with a conventional hydromechanical flight control system.

The OEM’s chief designer, Anton Bushuev, explains that the Ansat is planned to be certified to operate in an expanded range of outside air temperatures, up to +50°С: We are now sending a helicopter to Pakistan for hot-climate flight tests.

The program will comprise 50 flights, in the course of which we hope to extend the operating temperature envelope to +50°С unless any restrictions apply.

It is expected that these tests will be complete before the end of this year. Earlier the helicopter was certified to operate in cold temperatures, down to –45°C.

Among the upgrades already in progress is the installation of a winch. The first winch prototype to be used in flight testing is expected to be delivered shortly.

Also scheduled for this year is the installation of external cargo containers with up to 200 kg freight capacity. A test prototype is being assembled, and will be tested in flight later this year.

The R&D effort to design a vibration dampening system for the Ansat has largely been completed. Two design options have been selected; these will be delivered to Kazan Helicopters before the end of September.

Both options will be made available to operators: the four-unit variant for VIP and medevac aircraft, and the more conventional three-unit system.

Dmitry Sergeev, adviser to the Russian Helicopters CEO, says the system ensures vibration dampening levels comparable to those offered by the VIP variant of the AgustaWestland AW139.

Another modification comes in the form of an external sling, to be certified in Q2 2018. The OEM chose American Onboard Systems as the supplier. The sling-equipped rotorcraft will be capable of lifting 1.5 tons of freight externally, bringing its overload weight up to 3,900 kg.

Speaking of modernization plans for 2015, Bushuev mentioned an Ansat prototype with an all-composite nose section. A prototype has successfully passed bird strike tests at Baranov Central Institute of Aviation Motor Development. Flight tests should be carried out in Q1 and Q2 2018.

The aircraft’s tail boom will be equipped with new empennage, which is expected to improve stability in different fight modes. The use of composites should prolong the helicopter’s service life.

Also next year, the Ansat is to be outfitted with an upgraded modified information and management system. This will enable IFR flights in adverse weather, among other things.

One of the requests voiced by operators at the conference was for the Ansat’s range to be expanded. Bushaev remarked that Kazan Helicopters is working on this in cooperation with the French fuel system supplier Aerazur.

The first phase of the project, scheduled for 2018, will involve tests on shock-resistant fuel tanks. This should extend the Ansat’s 510-km baseline range by an extra 30 km.

In 2019, a fuel system with a 700-liter main tank and an auxiliary tank is to be designed. It will extend the Ansat’s range to 1,000 km. Its installation will require the introduction of a new main rotor blade profile; the helicopter’s MTOW will need to be increased by 150 kg to 3,750 kg.

The fly-by-wire version, dubbed Ansat-U, which has not yet been certified to civilian standards and is currently operated by the Russian military, will also be subjected to upgrades.

Its anti-icing system will be tested in December and January, and is expected to be ready for operational entry next year. The technology could then be transferred to the civil version.

Several options are planned for the medevac version of the Ansat. These will include a humidicrib, whose prototype is currently under development.

Tourism Observer

RUSSIA: Aeroflot Airbus A320 Makes 70 Aircrafts

The latest delivery was arranged via a Sino-Lithuanian lessor AviaAM Leasing.

Russia’s largest carrier Aeroflot has taken delivery of yet another factory-new Airbus A320 narrowbody.

What appears to be the 70th aircraft of the type in the airline’s fleet was delivered under an operating lease deal with China’s SkyCo International Financial Leasing.

The transaction was supervised by Lithuanian company AviaAM Leasing.

No details were immeditely available on the aircraft’s cabin configuration.

Aeroflot’s previous A320, delivered via AviaAM Leasing, has a two-class cabin layout with eight seats in business and 150 in coach.

Aeroflot also operates A321s, Boeing 737s, Boeing 777s, A330s, and Sukhoi Superjet 100s.

Tourism Observer

IRAQ: Iraqi Airways Starts Flights To Moscow

Iraq’s national carrier Iraqi Airways performed its first flight to Russia after a protracted break on September 17.

A Boeing 737-800, registration code YI-ASV, arrived at Vnukovo airport from Baghdad to airport.

Iraqi Airways received the factory-new airliner earlier this year.

The carrier stopped operating to Moscow 13 years ago, after Russia had imposed a ban on air services between the two countries in 2004 citing security reasons.

The parties began negotiating possible resumption of services back in 2015.

Prior to resuming flights to Moscow, Iraqi Airways launched services to former Soviet republics: first to Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016, and then to Minsk, Belarus this year.

The airline will fly its 737-800s of which it has 14 to Vnukovo from Baghdad and Basra.

The operator’s total fleet comprises 32 aircraft, with an average age of seven years.

Apart from the 737-800s, it also has 737-700s, Boeing 747/767/777s, Airbus A320/321/330s, and Bombardier CRJ900s.

Tourism Observer

RUSSIA: NordStar Airlines Passes IATA Operational Safety Audit

Russia’s NordStar Airlines has successfully undergone an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) confirming its compliance with more than 1,000 internationally approved aviation safety standards, the carrier reports.

NordStar’s IOSA certificate is valid through August 2018.

Annual audit is required to renew the approval.

Successful completion of the safety checks makes the airline eligible for joining IATA.

However, in its official statement NordStar gave no notion of its intention to do so.

Eleven Russian airlines are currently members of the international association.

Theser are Aeroflot and its subsidiary Rossiya Airlines, Nordavia, Nordwind Airlines, Pegas Fly, S7 Airlines, Ural Airlines, UTair Aviation, Vim Airlines, and also two cargo carriers: Volga-Dnepr and its subsidiary AirBridgeCargo.

NordStar Airlines, part of the Russian mining and smelting corporation MMC Norilsk Nickel, is Russia’s 15th carrier by passenger traffic.

Between January and July 2017 it carried 783,800 passengers, up 9.9% on the same period last year.

Its seat load factor increased 5 percentage points to 77.5%.

The airline sees its primary mission in providing air services between Krasnoyarsk Region in Siberia and major cities elsewhere in Russia.

The airline operates a fleet of five ATR 42-500 regional turboprops, a Boeing 737-300, and nine 737-800s.

Tourism Observer

AZERBAIJAN: Passenger Traffic At Heidar Aliyev Airport Baku Grows By 36%

Baku’s base airline AZAL was accountable for more than a half of all passenger traffic that passed through Baku in January through April (АZAL)
Passenger traffic through Heidar Aliyev airport in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, in the first four months of this year exceeded 1 million passengers.

In the period from January to April 2017 more than 1,062 million passengers flew from or to the capital of Azerbaijan, which is 36% above the same period last year.

The airport reported that over half of all passengers traveled by Azerbaijan’s national carrier, AZAL.

It was accountable for 594,000 passengers, including 158,000 served on domestic lines to Nakhichevan, Gyandzha and Gabala.

Baku Airport serves 28 airlines, including five low-cost carriers.

Cumulatively they carried 904,000 passengers on international routes, which makes up to 85% of the entire traffic for the period.

In the international segment AZAL generated almost half of the cumulative traffic (48.2%).

The most popular international destinations from Baku were Istanbul, Moscow, Dubai and Kyiv. About 62% of the entire international traffic traveled on these routes.

Other preferred destinations include Teheran, Tbilisi, Doha and St. Petersburg, accountable for 12% of traffic.

Last year Heydar Aliyev Airport handled the record 3.26 million passengers, up 8.7% on the previous year.

The share of international traffic was slightly less than now, 83.5%.

More of this traffic was served by AZAL (51.3%). The number of operators has remained the same.

The surge in passenger traffic was first recorded in the second half of the year.

In November the growth rate was 23% (231,000 passengers), and in October, 19% (265,000 passengers), 29% in September (365,000 passengers) and 27% in July (391,000 passengers).

Tourism Observer