Aeroflot looks to renew A320 fleet

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Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot is looking to acquire another 35 Airbus A320s as part of a broader fleet-renewal exercise.

The airline’s board has outlined a modernisation programme which includes leasing six Boeing 777-300ERs and phasing out its six Ilyushin Il-96s next year.

Aeroflot says it is to prepare the “necessary procedures” to arrange delivery of 35 A320s over the course of 2016-18.

There is no immediate indication that Aeroflot intends to take the re-engined A320neo. The airline’s A320-family fleet is currently powered by CFM International CFM56 engines.

Aeroflot Group has 35 A320-family aircraft on finance lease, nine of which are with its Rossiya division, according to the flag-carrier’s financial statement to the end of September 2013.

It also has 92 on operating lease, including 63 with Aeroflot, 16 with Rossiya, seven at Donavia and six with Vladivostok Avia.

Aeroflot Group is aiming to increase passenger numbers to 57 million by 2018, compared with forecasts of 31.5 million this year. But it says its strategy requires easing infrastructure constraints at Moscow Sheremetyevo and legislative changes allowing the launch of its budget spin-off Dobrolet.