Europe & CIS : S7 phases out Russian-built fleet to stay airborne

Russia’s second largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers, S7 Airlines, plans to phase out the last of its 35 Russian-built aircraft, including 27 Tu-154s and eight Il-86s, due to lower passenger demand. S7 will reduce its maintenance costs by 50 per cent with the move but also will have to eliminate 600 crew and […]


MRO S7 Airlines


Russia’s second largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers, S7 Airlines, plans to phase out the last of its 35 Russian-built aircraft, including 27 Tu-154s and eight Il-86s, due to lower passenger demand.

S7 will reduce its maintenance costs by 50 per cent with the move but also will have to eliminate 600 crew and 1,000 MRO positions as it closes the base that handles Tupolev and Ilyushin maintenance.

The carrier said it will concentrate on growing yield rather than seat factor and requires loads in the lower 70 per cent range to break even.

With fewer aircraft, the carrier will look to maintain its 12.6 per cent market share through increased efficiency. S7 op-erates 21 A320 family aircraft, seven 737- 400s, seven A310s and one 767-300ER. By the end of 2009 the fleet is expected to comprise 30 A320 family aircraft, six 737-400s, nine 737-800s, seven A310s and five 767-300s.

S7 expects US$1.8 billion in revenue this year, up from $1.2 billion last year, when 5.7 million passengers flew with the carrier.

The airline also wants to join one of the global alliances and plans to make a decision by the end of the year, according to company officials. With Russia’s biggest airline Aeroflot already a member of SkyTeam, S7 is left with a choice between Oneworld and Star Alliance which was left without a Russian partner after the collapse of its would-be partner Air Union.