Russian carrier Vladivostok Avia is intending to launch transpacific Tupolev Tu-204 operations to the USA next year, serving the destinations of Seattle and Anchorage.
The carrier is planning to commence services at the beginning of April next year using long-range Tu-204-300 aircraft, which it introduced to its fleet two years ago.
In a formal submission to US regulators the airline says it will operate twice weekly from Vladivostok to Anchorage and onward to Seattle. One of these services will operate through Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky while the other will go via Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
While Vladivostok Avia will begin the services using Tu-204s – configured with eight business-class and 134 economy-class seats – it says that it could eventually switch to using Airbus A320s.
“In light of its recent modernisation efforts and fleet expansion the company is well-positioned to establish its first scheduled service to North America,” says the carrier, adding that it could also extend the network to include other points in Russia.
Vladivostok Avia has four Tu-204-300s – leased from Ilyushin Finance Company – plus a single A320, the first in a batch of six the carrier has agreed to take from International Lease Finance (ILFC).
The airline’s fleet also includes a dozen Tupolev Tu-154s and a handful of other Soviet-built types.
Vladivostok Avia is 52.16%-owned by the Russian Government. Another 16.17% is owned by Alliance-Prom, the operator of Khabarovsk Airport, while the carrier’s other major shareholder, insurance company DASK, has 12.46%.