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UTAir reaffirms commitment to acquiring Superjets

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.

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