S7 Group, the managing company of S7 Airlines, has announced the purchase of 25 Airbus A320 aircraft. This deal marks the first time S7 Group has purchased aircraft directly from Airbus. The aircrafts will be operated by S7 Airlines, the largest Russian domestic carrier.
The purchase marks S7 Airlines? next major step towards the strategic goal on replacing its fleet of ageing airplanes and rising operation efficiency. Currently S7 operates eight leased A310s and seven leased A319s. Four leased A320 are planned be put into operation during the first half of 2008.
S7?s newly ordered A320s are powered by CFM International CFM56 engines, and will feature a spacious and comfortable two-class cabin layout, seating up to 160 passengers. The airline plans to operate these aircraft mainly out of its three major hubs, Moscow, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk, serving both domestic and international routes.
?The A320 has several advantages which are very dear to us. Incomparable cabin comfort is highly valued by our passengers. We optimise operational costs thanks to the excellent economics, and our pilots benefit from commonality with our existing Airbus fleet,? says S7 Airlines CEO Vladislav Filev.
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers adds ?This renewed vote of confidence for our best selling A320 from a very important Russian customer means a lot to us. We are confident that the new A320s will definitely contribute to the further success of S7 Airlines.?
Designed to optimise revenue through cabin adaptability and passenger comfort, the A320 Family features the most modern and complete fly-by-wire technology available on any single-aisle aircraft. Thanks to most modern design and low fuel consumption, the A320 Family ensures savings in every element of direct operating cost. According to numerous independent surveys, passengers prefer the greater space and comfort offered by the A320 Family cabin including wider seats, while its attractive economics make it a firm favourite with airlines and investors.
The A320 is the flagship of Airbus? modern single-aisle Family, which also includes the A318, the A319 and A321. Carriers such as S7 Airlines, operating several Airbus Family types, benefit from the unique Airbus operational commonality. All A320 aircraft share the same type rating, and all the Airbus aircraft share cockpit commonality. This allows pilots to fly the whole family, and enables the same team of mechanics to maintain the aircraft, generating valuable savings in training and operational efficiency.
With over 5,070 Airbus single-aisle aircraft ordered and more than 3,000 delivered to date, the A320 Family is without doubt the most successful airliner programme. The A320 Family has more than 180 customers and operators to its credit. Ten carriers from Russia and CIS currently operate 57 A320 Family aircraft.
Airbus is an EADS company.