S7 Airlines to stop using Il-86 in 2009
To a great extent, the decision to stop using the Il-86 from 2009 is a result of ever-tighter environmental standards set by foreign countries —standards which the Il-86, developed in the 1970s already does not meet. In addition, rising aviation fuel prices (20% in 2005-2006) are making the Il-86 less profitable, owing to its low fuel efficiency. (The average fuel consumption for the Il-86 is 31 kg/seat/flying hour, while for the А310 it is 22 kg/seat/flying hour.)
The Il-86 has been banned from the EU since 2002, and in recent years the aviation authorities in Cyprus and Bulgaria have also banned it from their airspace. This leaves Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro and Tunisia as the only major tourist destinations in Europe and North Africa to which the Il-86 is allowed to fly. Given that the aviation authorities in Egypt and Turkey (the main tourist destinations) are constantly raising the issue of banning the Il-86, there are no markets left with good prospects for the aircraft.
Taking these factors into account, S7 has decided to stop using the Il-86 from 2009, when the Il-86s in its fleet would be due a complete overhaul, as it would not be worth the cost involved. At present, there are 7 Il-86s in S7’s fleet.
S7 has an extensive fleet of efficient A310 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft that can replace the Il-86 on tourist routes. For instance, they have already replaced the Il-86 on our flights to Bulgaria (Varna and Burgas).
S7 Airlines is Russia’s largest domestic carrier and one of the world’s top 50 domestic airlines. In terms of passenger numbers, S7 is Russia’s second-biggest airline overall. In 2006, S7 made more than 40,000 flights, carrying 4,900,000 passengers and more than 28,000 tonnes of cargo and post. S7’s fleet comprises 62 Airbus A310/A319, Boeing 737-500/400, Il-86 and Tu-154M aircraft.