Russia's Bykovo Avia has appointed Alexander Shashkov general director. He has been given the task of returning the Moscow carrier to profitability as it prepares to expand into international operations.

The airline, which is based at Bykovo Airport, 40km (25 miles) east of Moscow, regularly carried 2 million passengers a year in the late 1980s, but last year carried less than 170,000. With only half of the airline's 12 Yakolev Yak-42s remaining airworthy, Shashkov, previously with Moscow-based East Line, has acquired two additional trijets on short-term lease.

The Yaks, from Irish leasing company Corvette Aviation, are destined for lease to Air Moldova (Flight International, 2-8 June). Bykovo Avia is operating them while Shashkov negotiates new credit facilities to cover the airline's fuel and maintenance charges.

Bykovo is refurbishing its own Yak-42s, installing mixed-class interiors and the first oxygen systems to be fitted to a Yak-42.

Meanwhile, Bykovo's airport base is being upgraded with customs and immigration services to permit international flights to be handled. This will enable Bykovo to expand to international destinations, and it expects to launch services to Stuttgart and Hanover in Germany in July.

Source: Flight International