Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has transferred 49% of the shares of JSC Aurora Airlines to Sakhalin Oblast.
The transaction follows an agreement signed on November 6, 2013 in the presence of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev between Aeroflot and Sakhalin Oblast regarding joint ownership of Aurora Airlines. Under the agreement, shares of Aurora Airlines will be transferred in tranches from Sakhalin Oblast to other regions in the Far Eastern Federal District.
This transfer represents an important step in the creation of Aurora as a single carrier serving the whole of Russia’s Far East. The project will be developed through close cooperation with the administrations of regions in the Russian Far East.
Aurora Airlines was created following an order issued by the Prime Minister. Aurora is being built on the basis of two Far Eastern regional airlines, SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia, which since 2011 have been part of Aeroflot Group. Aurora Airlines aims to promote the social and economic development of Russia’s Far East by creating a more efficient and accessible system of passenger flights.
The creation of the Far Eastern regional airline is part of Aeroflot Group’s strategy to create a major airline group capable of competing on the global market. The strategy includes the establishment of three regional hubs, in the Southern, North-Western and Far Eastern federal districts. The Group aims to almost triple flight numbers by 2025, making Aeroflot Group one of Europe’s five biggest airlines by passenger numbers and turnover, and a top-20 global carrier.
Aeroflot’s share in the new company will be not less than 51%. Aurora Airlines launched operations in November 2013 after its first Airbus A319 (VP-BWK) (above) was painted and delivered. A Boeing 737-500 (RA-73002) is also flying in their colors.
Sakhalin Oblast according to Wikipedia is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) comprising the island of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the Far East. The oblast has an area of 33,600 square miles. Its administrative center and the largest city is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Besides people from other parts of the former Soviet Union, the oblast is home to Nivkhs and Ainu, with the latter having lost their language in Sakhalin recently.
All Images: Aurora Airlines (SAT Airlines).
Route Map: Combined SAT Airlines and Valdivostok Avia route map: