Russia plans new airline for Crimea

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Aeroflot has declined to comment on an announcement made by the Russian deputy prime minster, Dmitry Rogozin, about a new airline for Crimea.

Rogozin sent a tweet on his Twitter account, @DRogozin, on 13 August stating that: “On the [government] agenda is also the issue of establishing an airline to ensure a regular air lift to Crimea using Russian aircraft fleet.” 

In another tweet on the same day, Rogozin states that: “Today in the Govt we’re discussing the possibility of expanding the production of Russian regional planes, in particular [Ilyushin] IL-114.”

The Ilyushin IL-114 is a regional passenger aircraft with turboprop engines which does have a cargo version, the -114T. The -114’s maximum payload is six tonnes.  When Air Cargo Week enquired about its interest in operating such an airline, Aeroflot declined to comment on the matter. The press office of deputy prime minister Rogozin was not available.

The Russian Federation may be interested in using a wholly Russian aircraft fleet for this proposed airline because it decided to stop the operations of its Aeroflot subsidiary and low cost airline Dobrolet. It operated a small fleet of Western aircraft with services to Crimea.

According to the European Union (EU), Russia referred to EU financial sanctions when it ceased Dobrolet operations, though the sanctions did not directly impact any airline. As another airline that could provide cargo capacity for servicing Crimea,  Volga-Dnepr Group was not available for comment either. 

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