Regional aircraft An-148, which were assembled at the Russian plant in Voronezh, will be imported to Ukraine to launch a new airline, Air Ocean Airlines, Mintrans reports.
We are talking about delivering three airliners by the end of the year through the leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co. These planes flew in Siberia in the Russian airline “Angara”.
Aviation blogger Vladimir Belenky said that these aircraft would reach Ukraine via Moldova. He posted a photo of the plane with the remains of the former operator’s livery, the Ukrainian flag and the Ukrainian registration of UR-CTC and UR-CTF.
So far, these numbers have not been entered into the Ukrainian register, but this is a normal situation. In some cases, air carriers have previously applied Ukrainian registration to airliners before their official import into Ukraine and the appearance of data in the register.
From Belenky’s data, it follows that during flights in Russia, the airliners were registered RA-61711 and RA-61714 and have been in Chisinau since the end of August.
With the help of two aircraft, Air Ocean Airlines will be able to obtain an operator certificate. The Ukrainian Air Code requires the new airline to have at least two jets with its fleet before flights.
Mintrans sources say Air Ocean Airlines has nothing to do with the new state-owned airline that President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wants to create and include Antonov’s planes in its fleet.
The Angara received five An-148s assembled in Voronezh in the An-148-100E modification for 75 seats in 2012-2013.
It is reasonable to use An-148 on routes with small passenger traffic with a flight range of 2-2.5 hours. In this case, the optimal takeoff-landing balance is obtained, taking into account the fact that it is the takeoff and landing that most of the fuel is consumed, explains a member of the UIA Supervisory Board. This plane could be used on intra-Ukrainian interregional routes, for example, Lvov-Kharkiv or Kherson-Ivano-Frankivsk.
At the same time, it is optimal to use the An-148 on international routes on routes to the Baltic States, Scandinavia, the Caucasus, Romania, and Bulgaria. That is, to destinations with low passenger traffic, when a small, light aircraft with a high load factor will receive economic advantages over a large, half-empty plane.
In the operation, the airline faced problems in maintaining the airworthiness of aircraft against the backdrop of a difficult relationship between Ukraine and Russia, which participated in this project. This led to aircraft downtime. Now on its website, “Angara” indicates that the An-148 is not included in its fleet.