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Russia’s S7 Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A320neo in the coming weeks, making S7 the first A320neo family operator in Russia, CEO Anton Eremin told ATW recently on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Cancun.
Eremin said S7 plans to operate only narrowbody and regional aircraft in the future and will phase out its last remaining widebody aircraft, two Boeing 767-300ERs. “In the future, the A321 will be the largest aircraft in our fleet,” he said.
S7 Airlines has agreed to lease three A321neos from Air Lease Corp. (ALC) and has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire two A320neos.
S7 also has nine Boeing 737 MAX on order. “Our first 737 MAX is expected for delivery in September 2018,” Eremin said.
Asked if it makes sense economically to operate both types—the A320neo and 737 MAX—Eremin noted that historically S7 has always had relationships with both Boeing and Airbus. “Also the aircraft are different in terms of range,” he said. “It gives us some benefit” to have ties to both Airbus and Boeing.
The airline is in the process of phasing in 17 Embraer E170LRs, which will be all delivered by the end of the year, Eremin said. The E170s are leased from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). S7 Airlines is the first E170 operator in Russia.
S7 is the second largest airline in Russia behind Aeroflot. “75% of our business is domestic,” Eremin said. “However, our international business is expanding. After the bankruptcy of Transaero, a bloody price war has ended. I believe there will be fewer airlines in the future in Russia. There are still too many small carriers.”