Russia's Atlant-Soyuz to lease more 737-300s

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Moscow-based carrier Atlant-Soyuz is to lease three more Boeing 737-300s to match its capacity with changing operational requirements.

Atlant-Soyuz, set to be the backbone of new operator RosAvia, has stepped in on a number of routes that were served by now-defunct AirUnion.

"New operational tasks put a strain on our capacity and call for corrections in fleet development," says general manager Valery Menitsky. "To complement two leased 737-300s, we'll shortly sign an agreement to acquire three more."

Atlant-Soyuz plans to use -300s as a stop-gap until it brings in four 737-800s ordered from Boeing. It currently operates one of the type. "We remain committed to taking all aircraft under that agreement," adds Menitsky.

The carrier has phased out three of its eight Ilyushin Il-86s. They ceased to yield sufficient cabin loads in the weakening charter market and do not fit its flight schedule.

Atlant-Soyuz already carries out scheduled services to Tashkent, Samarkand and Dushanbe from Moscow Vnukovo. In the summer season, it also plans to serve Norilsk, Samara and destinations in southern Russia from Krasnoyarsk.