Transaero looks set to become the first Russian airline to fly the A380, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for four superjumbos. The carrier plans to configure the aircraft to seat a staggering 700 passengers in three classes.
Air France currently seats the most passengers in its three-class A380 configuration with 538 seats, but Transaero’s proposed configuration would dwarf this figure. French airline Air Austral is planning an all-economy version of the superjumbo which will seat 840 passengers (see online news January 19, 2009).
Transaero is Russia’s second largest carrier behind Aeroflot, and plans to launch operations with the A380 on its long-range network of high density routes out of Moscow. The carrier already operates long-haul routes to destinations including London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Commenting on the news Olga Pleshakova, CEO of Transaero Airlines said: “Transaero is experienced in operating long-range wide-body aircraft, and is now ready to offer the A380. I am sure that the operation of this high capacity aircraft will stimulate the development of Russia’s aviation sector.”
Report by Scott Carey