The new Airbus А320 - the first step in a radical overhaul of S7’s fleet
‘These four A320s are totally new aircraft; we will get them straight from the factory,’ said Vladislav Filyov, General Director of S7. ‘For us this marks the start of a new stage of development. We realise that if we want to remain one of Russia’s top two airlines, we need to acquire no less than 70 new long-haul aircraft in the next 5-7 years, and we have already started this work.’
According to IATA forecasts, the total volume of global air traffic is set to top 3,600,000,000 passengers a year by 2015, while more than 80 million passengers a year are set to use airlines in Russia. Given that Soviet-built aircraft will be completely obsolete by then, it is becoming vital for Russian air carriers to renew their fleet.
The entry into service of the new A320 aircraft will mark the start of the practical implementation of our strategic 7-year programme to overhaul and modernise S7’s aircraft and engines. Another aspect of the programme is that S7 will retire all its Il-86 aircraft from service by 2010.
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.