LONDON – KrasAvia (KI) started operating its first two ATR 72-500, the first aircraft of the type ever registered in transcontinental Russia.
Owned by the government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, KI is an airline based in Krasnoyarsk. KI operates scheduled and charter flights with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft on regional routes to Russia’s Far North from its Krasnoyarsk hub.
Air services are crucial to serve the remote regions of Siberia, and their challenging environment requires versatile and reliable aircraft able to take-off and land in extreme cold conditions.
The route from Krasnoyarsk to Khatanga, near the Arctic Ocean, is one of the longest scheduled ATR routes (984NM/1822km) – a four hour flight.
The airline is the third largest ATR operator in Russia, after UTair and NordStar, which respectively operate a fleet of 15 ATR 72-500 and five ATR 42-500.
The total ATR fleet in Russia now totals 22 aircraft, with their operational versatility and reliability being strong assets for their operators, to the benefit of the communities they serve.
The two ATR 72-500 have been purchased second-hand from Swedish lessor Erik Thun and the deal was arranged by Bertrand Lattes Aviation Capital (BLAC).
Statement from KrasAvia
Andrey Egorov, General Director of KI, said that the acquisition of these two ATR 72-500 shows that it is ever more committed to improving its fleet and offering its passengers a “smoother flying experience.”
The ATR aircraft will replace KI’s smaller Antonov An-24 and An-26 turboprop, which have reached over 40 years of service.
Egorov also said that thanks to the ATR 72-500 versatility and modern and spacious cabin, KI will continue to support the connectivity needs of the Siberian communities with increased seat capacity and higher standards of comfort.
Statement from ATR
Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR, said, “All regions deserve the same opportunity to be part of a connected world, and ATR aircraft show unrivalled performance in connecting people and businesses responsibly.”
“The entry into service of these aircraft is highly significant, as KI is the first public airline in Russia to purchase and operate ATR. We are truly glad to see our aircraft continuing to support regional connectivity in the country.”
Featured image: KrasAvia ATR72. Photo: ATR