UTAir reaffirms commitment to acquiring Superjets

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Russian carrier UTAir says it remains committed to acquiring Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft as it lays out plans to expand regional operations.

Last November, UTAir concluded a preliminary agreement with Sukhoi for the supply of 24 Superjet 100s.

Speaking in Kiev, the carrier's director Andrei Martirosov says: "We'll finalise the agreement and place a firm order by the end of this year."

In 2011, UTAir is to take 21 Boeing 737s, a dozen ATR turboprops and two Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.

Its low-cost subsidiary ATR operator UTAir-Ukraine plans to expand business by introducing regular flights from Kiev to Ivano-Frankovsk, Krivoy Rog, Lugansk and Lviv.

Martirosov says the company has also chosen to establish a hub at Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. A pair of 737s will be deployed there this month initially to provide three daily flights to Moscow as well as to serve Yerevan and Surgut.

"We've also proposed a substantial charter flight programme from Rostov to destinations in Egypt, Turkey, Italy [and] Spain," says Martirosov.