Russian carrier KrasAvia has started operating its first two ATR 72-500 aircraft.

    KrasAvia provides regional passenger and cargo air transportation in the Krasnoyarsk region. The airline, which was established in 2007, has more than 50 aircraft in its fleet. Owned by the government of Krasnoyarsk Krai, the carrier operates scheduled and charter flights with helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft on regional routes to Russia’s Far North from its Krasnoyarsk hub.

    The airline purchased the two ATR 72-500s second-hand from Swedish lessor Erik Thun in a deal arranged by Bertrand Lattes Aviation Capital.

    Andrey Egorov, general director of KrasAvia, commented on the deal: “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, ATR’s chief executive officer commented: “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.”

    The challenging operating environment in Siberia requires versatile and reliable aircraft that are able to take off and land in extremely cold conditions. According to ATR, the route from Krasnoyarsk to Khatanga near the Arctic Ocean takes four hours, making it one of the longest scheduled ATR routes (984NM/1822km).

    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.

    For more information on KrasAvia, visit www.ak-krasavia.ru.