Transaero is to set up a maintenance facility for its widebody aircraft at Russian maintenance specialist VARZ-400's plant, as part of a wide-ranging cooperation plan with Moscow Vnukovo Airport.

Under a freshly-signed agreement, the two sides will invest in the construction of a designated hangar on the VARZ premises owned by the airport.

"The draft envisages a building capable of accommodating the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 jets," says Vnukovo board chairman Vitaly Vantsev, noting that the partners would seek to attract co-investors.

"In addition, we'll assign two bays to perform maintenance work on Transaero's 747s and 777s as well as a permanent special parking area for them."

The other project is to build a 3,000m² (32,292ft²) personnel training centre complete with four full-flight simulators.

Transaero chief Olga Pleshakova says they will include equipment to train crews for the Boeing 737, 747 and 777. "As for the fourth device, it could be for the 777NG or 767, if we retain this aircraft type," she says.

Transaero, which is currently based at Moscow's Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports, will begin using Vnukovo for selected services from May.

"We'll aim to increase the share of our traffic [through Vnukovo] gradually and reach passenger numbers of at least 2 million a year," says Pleshakova.

The airport administration has committed to providing adequate ground infrastructure to handle all types of the carrier's widebody jets.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news