New Russian Cargo Airline to Take Off This Summer
Direct-Avia, a Russian newcomer to the air cargo business, will commence flights this summer. The airline will be flying two Tupolev Tu-204-100S freighters.
The new carrier was founded in late 2014, under the auspices of logistics and transport company Aircargo+. The two aircraft which will flown by Direct-Avia, both built in 2009, were previously operated by Russian carrier Transaero. Transaero filed for bankruptcy last year.
The airline’s plans still require approval from Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, according to Direct-Avia’s CEO, Sergey Kukarev. However, the carrier is going ahead with acceptance procedures for the two Tu-204-100S’s at Domodedovo Airport in the interim. Direct-Avia will be based out of Vnukovo Airport, which will allow it to work with the freight and mail center, Vnukovo Cargo.
Kukarev said that he is confident that the company will be able to expand by growing its fleet of Russian-made aircraft. “The Tu-204 freighters are fairly competitive,” he added. “They have a niche of their own, one that has been virtually unoccupied since Transaero folded.”
The company has also picked up a number of Transaero’s specialists who were laid off in 2015. Direct-Avia has plans for both domestic and international routes. The airline has established contracts with Chinese partners for air cargo services between the two countries.
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