The Kremlin does not like to see Russian airlines using Western aircraft. President Putin is now calling for the creation of an airline with a Russian-only fleet.
Russian airlines are expected to fly with Russian aircraft again. That order comes directly from Vladimir Putin. The President of the Republic presented such plans as early as 2017. Among other things, he declared the development of the Aviadvigatel PD-35 engine to be a national priority. But that seems to not be sufficient.
One day before the sudden resignation of the government on 15 January, Putin instructed Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to present a feasibility study for a new regional airline by the end of the month. The airline is to rely on Russian-made aircraft. The Kremlin does not only want to boost the domestic aviation industry with this project. The new airline is to provide better connections to remote areas of eastern Russia.
Defence giant wants a fleet of three types
Although Medvedev has meanwhile handed over his post to his successor Mikhail Mishustin, the project to promote the company’s own aviation industry is still being pursued. The Russian aviation industry has already begun to respond. The aerospace and defence giant Rostec has drawn up its own proposal for a corresponding regional airline, writes the portal Russian Aviation Insider.
The short- and medium-haul aircraft Irkut MS-21, the regional aircraft Superjet 100 as well as the short-haul aircraft Let L-610, which has not yet been realized, are planned for the fleet, said Anatoly Serdyukov, head of aviation construction at Rostec. Rostec is not only closely linked to the Russian government as a state-owned company. Serdyukov himself served as defense minister until 2012.
Aeroflot plans to use additional state funds
Russia’s national airline Aeroflot has also expressed interest in establishing a regional carrier. It wants to receive additional funds from the state budget and include its subsidiary Aurora Airlines. The regional airline was founded in 2012 at the request of the Russian government. Aurora is a joint venture with the administration of the Russian Sakhalin district, which owns half of the shares.