Aurora, Aeroflot Group’s Far Eastern regional airline, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to purchase five Dash 8-400 turboprops from De Havilland Canada. The arrangement was announced on November 19, during the 2019 Dubai Airshow.
The Sakhalin-based regional carrier which currently operates ten Dash 8 aircraft, including five Dash 8-400, three Dash 8-300 and two Dash 8-200, says it plans on ordering -400s to streamline its turboprop fleet while supporting growing network and meeting the increasing demands for charter operations.
De Havilland Canada is expected to assist Aurora with funding the purchase.
“The [Dash 8-400] aircraft’s diverse capabilities and jet-like performance will support our growing network and meet the increasing demands for charter operations,” said Konstantin Sukhorebrik, Aurora’s general director.
“We aim to increase traffic and expand our local, regional and international footprint with the additional aircraft. In the future, we plan on ordering more Dash 8-400 aircraft as we look to streamline our fleet with a harmonized configuration. The opportunity to increase seat capacity with the new configurations offered by De Havilland Canada allows us to tap into growth and new markets.”
“We will assist Aurora as they review funding options for the five Dash 8-400 aircraft and work to finalize a firm purchase agreement,” said Todd Young, Chief Operating Officer, De Havilland Canada.
Aurora Airlines, which is 51 per cent owned by Aeroflot, with the remaining 49 held by the administration of the Sakhalin region, was founded in 2013 by the merger of faltering local carriers SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia, in response to a government order.
The IOSA-approved carrier currently operates 23 aircraft – 10 Airbus А319s, 10 Bombardier DHC-8s and three de Havilland DHC-6s. In the first nine months of this year, the smallest member of Aeroflot group carried 1.28 million passengers, two per cent improvement year on year.