Russia’s KrasAvia started operating its first two ATR 72-500, the first ATR aircraft ever registered in Russia. Owned by the government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, KrasAvia is an airline based in Krasnoyarsk, the third largest city in Siberia, with a population of approximately 1.1 million people. KrasAvia operates scheduled and charter flights with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft on regional routes to Russia’s Far North from its Krasnoyarsk hub. 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).
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.
Andrey Egorov, general director of KrasAvia, declared, “The acquisition of these two ATR 72-500 shows that we are ever more committed to improving our fleet and offering our passengers a smoother flying experience. They will replace our smaller Antonov An-24 and An-26 turboprop, which have reached over 40 years of service. Thanks to the ATR 72-500 versatility and modern and spacious cabin, we will continue to support the connectivity needs of the Siberian communities, with increased seat capacity and higher standards of comfort.”
Stefano Bortoli, chief executive officer 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 KrasAvia 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.”
KrasAvia 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.