Aurora Airlines (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) was created today. The new airline name is the result of the merger of SAT Airlines (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin, Russia) and Valdivostok Avia (Vladivostok Air) (Vladivostok). Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) issued this statement:
Aurora Airlines was established by the order of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation on the basis of two Far Eastern air carriers – SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia (both in Aeroflot group since 2011). The main objective of a newly created airline is to contribute to Russia’s Far East social and economic development through the system of more efficient and accessible passenger traffic.
Aurora’s business plan envisages a dynamic boost of operational activities: from 2013 to 2018 the number of flights should increase from 172 to 534; the number of destinations – from 30 to 128; and the annual traffic will reach 2.4 million passengers.
Aurora’s fleet will be strengthened by modern aircraft. In addition to the existing medium-haul Boeing 737s, the fleet will receive three Airbus A319 airliners by the end of this year. By the end of 2014, the carrier’s fleet is expected to comprise seven aircraft of this type. The regional fleet will include turboprop airliners with a capacity between 50 and 78 seats. Local air transportation services will be provided on aircraft with up to 20 seats. The total size of fleet should reach up to 40 aircraft by 2018.
Konstantin Sukhorebrik was appointed Director General of Aurora.
Aeroflot’s share in the new company will be not less than 51%. The rest of the shares will be gradually transferred to the Far Eastern Federal District governments.
This project is supposed to be developed in active cooperation with the local authorities. The Agreement on joint participation in JSC Aurora signed today by Aeroflot and the Government of the Sakhalin region is one of the major important steps.
“The consolidated Far Eastern airline was a strategic idea for a long time, from now on it is a reality,” said Vitaly Saveliev, Director General of JSC “Aeroflot”. “Aurora airline will help to enhance the economic potential of the Far East, increase the mobility of its population and contribute to the growth and reinforcement of local aviation personnel. The new air carrier will be an important part of Aeroflot Group and will strengthen its synergy. We expect an effective cooperation with the federal and regional authorities in the further development of this project, essential both for the Far East and Russia.”