The Russian national carrier is planning its future long-haul fleet. Aeroflot is looking for a plane that can carry at least 400 passengers.
The largest aircraft in Aeroflot’s fleet is its Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. In the 19 planes they own, the Russian state airline seats 402 passengers, 324 of them in Economy Class, 48 in Premium Economy and 30 in Business Class. Now, Aeroflot is interested in more and newer aircraft of similar size.
The Interfax news agency and the portal Russian Aviation Insider report that the airline currently seeks a consulting firm through a public tender. For a fee of up to 342 million rubles (almost 4.9 million euros), the consultants are to support the airline in the planned acquisition of western short- and medium-haul jets, in fleet planning for the period 2020 to 2023, and in considerations of layout and interior. They should also find an aircraft with which Aeroflot can renew its current 777-300 ER fleet in the future.
Not many models to choose from
However, not many models are appropriate. Two should have an advantage though. On the one hand, Boeing plans to offer the larger variant of the 777X, the 777-9, with up to 426 seats in a two-class layout. On the other hand, Airbus states the capacity of the A350-1000 with 350 to 410 seats in a three-class configuration – and with a maximum of 440.
The A330-900, the A350-900, and the Russian-Chinese CR929 also have a maximum capacity of 440 seats. But a single-class configuration is unlikely to be an option for Aeroflot and at least at Airbus, the A350-1000 seems more suitable than the other two aircraft. However, the CR929 could have a home advantage with the state airline.
Airbus A350-900 from 2020
But first Aeroflot wants to put the Airbus A350-900 into operation in the first quarter of 2020. It will have 316 seats, 264 in Economy Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 28 in Business Class. The airline intends to add 28 A350s to its fleet, but only an order for 14 is firm in Airbus’ books.