Transaero Airlines, Russia’s second largest airline, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus for four A380 super-jumbos.
The agreement was signed by Olga Pleshakova, Transaero Airlines CEO, and Christopher Buckley, Airbus’ executive vice president Europe, Asia and the Pacific.
Transaero Airlines will become the launch customer for the Airbus A380 in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. The Russian carrier plans to start operations with the A380 on a long-range network of high-density routes from Moscow.
In Transaero service, the Airbus A380 will feature a three-class cabin layout, seating about 700 passengers. Transaero will announce an engine selection for the new aircraft in the near future.
”Transaero is experienced in operating long-range widebody aircraft, and is now ready to offer the A380. I am sure that the operation of this high capacity aircraft will stimulate the development of Russia’s aviation sector, in particular airports infrastructure, while passengers will benefit from a completely new experience,” says Pleshakova.
“We are very pleased to welcome Transaero as the launch customer for the A380 in Russia,” says John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer – customers. “We definitely see market potential for the A380 in Russia. Passenger traffic in this region is expected to increase at an average rate of 5.6 per cent per year over the next 20 years. We are convinced that the A380 is the best and most eco-efficient aircraft to meet those market requirements.”
Transaero Airlines began service in November 1991, and currently serves more than 130 routes all over the world.
Since entering service in 2007 the Airbus A380 has flown some 16 million passengers. According to Airbus, the A380’s spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the aircraft a favorite with passengers. This has resulted in higher than average load factors and increased profitability on A380 flights, providing airlines with a competitive advantage wherever they operate the type.
Total firm orders for the aircraft stand at 236 from 18 customers worldwide and 59 aircraft have been delivered to seven customers. Airbus hasn’t yet included Transaero’s commitment towards A380 total orders because the Russian airline’s commitment is not yet a firm order.