Transaero rethinks 747 deployment after Moscow chaos

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Russia's Transaero is to rethink the allocation of its widebody Boeing operations between Moscow's two main airports, and look at establishing its own handling division at Domodedovo.

It follows systemwide disruption to the carrier's services over several days at Domodedovo this week.

The company's board chairman, Alexander Pleshakov, says that "horizontal manageability" was "missing" over the period from 26-29 December.

"Even when check-in and baggage handling systems were back to normal on 27 December, the airport did not let any of our widebody aircraft depart for a full day, adding to the frustration among passengers," he says.

Pleshakov says Transaero managed to resume services from Domodedovo only after appealing to the chiefs of the Russian transport ministry and regulator Rosaviatsia to intervene and place a priority on handling widebody aircraft.

"Finally, all of our delayed flights were cleared for departure and services restored but the required boarding and turnaround times between flights are not yet in place there," says Pleshakov.

"Given this situation, we've made a decision to transfer a further portion of our Boeing services to Sheremetyevo and consider setting up a ground-handling division of our own at Domodedovo," says Pleshakov.

Transaero currently operates long-haul flights from Sheremetyevo using three Boeing 747s. Pleshakov suggests it could relocate half of services carried out by its dozen 747s to that airport before the summer season.