Rossiya begins domestic An-148 services

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St Petersburg-based Rossiya Airlines has begun domestic passenger services using Antonov An-148 regional aircraft.

The carrier is a launch customer for the type in Russia and its second commercial operator after Ukraine's AeroSvit.

It has introduced its first An-148 on a trunk route with shuttle service between St Petersburg and Moscow Sheremetyevo.

Leasing company Ilyushin Finance is to supply another domestically-built An-148 to Rossiya before 2010 and four more jets next year.

Rossiya's director Roman Pakhomov envisages placing them on domestic routes to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk as well as on cross-border services to Scandinavia.