Russian carrier UTAir is planning to create a special subsidiary to
provide local services using an all-turborpop fleet of ATR-42s.
The new operator, tentatively called UTAir-Express, will be set up on
the basis of Komiinteravia, in which UTAir acquired a 70% shareholding a year
At the time, Komiinteravia operated 18 ageing Tupolev Tu-134s. Under
the business plan, the parent company will first swap them for 17 Antonov An-24
and a pair of ATR-42-300 turboprops.
“We’ll receive five more ATR-42s before the end of this year and
increase their number to around 20 by 2012,” says UTAir general manager Andrei
Martirosov, indicating that all An-24s will be gradually replaced on local and
regional services. “To be more efficient, this business should be run
separately from our mainline passenger operation.”
UTAir-Express is due to be operational next year. As handler of a
single-type modern fleet, it is designed to become a profit centre and,
possibly, an operator specialising on low-cost and short-haul services.
“All major network airlines tend to serve these segments through their
standalone divisions,” says Martirosov. “ We’re just following the global
UTAir last year
transported 1.83 million passengers and made net profits of Rb200 million ($7.4