In early April, Utair ordered 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing reported in a monthly report on new contracts. The general director of Utair Andrey Martirosov confirmed this. "It's about the model Boeing 737 MAX 8," says the top manager. "The first two ships from this order will be received in 2019". Supervisory Board of Utair approved leasing contracts for 2019-2020, further supplies will depend on market conditions, Martirosov continues. The fleet is scheduled to be completed in 2025, he added.
The catalog price of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 is $ 117.1 million. It is used to calculate advances when concluding contracts, the actual price of an airplane for a large order is approximately 50% of the catalog price. Accordingly, ordered aircraft Utair can cost about $ 1.76 billion.
This is the largest single order of the Russian airline for Airbus or Boeing aircraft of the newest generation. Although in general, more ships ordered the S7 Group (its Siberia Airlines and Globus operate under the S7 brand) - 37 aircraft, including 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 (the first will arrive this fall) and 27 Airbus 320/321 neo (already received four, according to Rosaviation).
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MAX and neo are the newest models of the world's most popular medium-haul narrow-bodied vessels Boeing 737 and Airbus 320. They began to be delivered to airlines in 2017 and 2016. respectively. Due to the new engines they consume less fuel - up to 15% lower compared to their predecessors, they have a longer flight range and a higher level of comfort.
Utair started the fleet renewal program in 2013 with a major order from Boeing, Martirosov recalls. The company managed to get the first six vessels, but due to the crisis in air transportation in 2015-2016. the planes were returned to the lessor, he continues: "Subsequently, we transformed the remaining lot into an order for 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8". These ships will replace the smaller Boeing 737-500, which will increase the overall seat capacity and fuel efficiency of Utair, he continues. At the same time, the company's park will not grow. The fleet of Utair consists of 65 aircraft, including 32 Boeing 737-500 with a capacity of 126 seats. Boeing 737 MAX 8 accommodates up to 178 passengers in a two-class layout and up to 210 in a mono class.
Utair - the only major airline that in recent years has not updated or increased the fleet. On the contrary, in 2014-2015. The fleet has almost halved in terms of the efficiency program. This helped the airline at the end of 2015 to restructure the bank debt by 43 billion rubles. In January - March, Utair transported 1.7 million passengers (+ 15.9%), the third in Russia after Aeroflot and S7.
The Boeing 737-500 planes in the Utair park are about the same age as the age, the maintenance costs of the age ships are great, says Aviaport agency executive director Oleg Panteleyev. The efficiency of this model is also relatively low due to the small capacity. The choice for more expensive, but more efficient MAX is understandable: the average shoulder in Russia is longer than in Europe, and the prices for kerosene only grow regardless of the price of oil, the expert adds.