Aeroflot's Loucoster will buy another 15 Boeing 737MAX8

The company-loukoster intends to buy 15 Boeing 737MAX8. At the same time its head structure, Aeroflot, promised to take 50 new Russian aircraft MS-21.
As "Kommersant" has learned, while Aeroflot promises to take 50 new Russian MS-21s, its subsidiary "Pobeda" will continue to develop business on foreign equipment. The carrier agreed with Boeing on the delivery of 15 cars of the new version of 737MAX8 from the end of 2019. "Victory" intends to use 45 aircraft by 2020, going out in 2022 to a passenger flow of 15-16 million people. According to experts, the choice is justified: the operation of new types of aircraft, such as MS-21, especially Russian ones, is always accompanied by technical problems that reduce efficiency.

The "Aeroflot" air traffic company "Pobeda" has decided on the plans for expanding the fleet. According to Kommersant sources in the leasing industry, Pobeda is targeting an improved version of the Boeing 737 NG-737MAX8. Loukoster has already published vacancies for commanders of aircraft, pilots and flight attendants at 737NG / MAX, applicants should have access to such aircraft and "the opportunity to manage them" in the very near future.

In Pobeda, Kommersant confirmed that they are considering the possibility of replenishing the fleet with new 737MAX in the future, but details of the deal were not disclosed. Boeing declined to comment. A source at "Aeroflot" says that "Victory" has already ordered 15 cars, the beginning of deliveries is planned for the autumn of 2019. Now there are 20 Boeing 737 NG in the low-cost park, until mid-2019 the carrier will receive ten more cars, including as part of a reverse lease with Sberbank Leasing. According to the development strategy, by 2020 the fleet of "Victory" should consist of 45 aircraft.

Boeing 737MAX8 - a narrow-bodied aircraft of the fourth generation of the family 737, is produced since 2017. The capacity is up to 210 seats, the flight range is 6,500 km, the engine is 14% more economical than the NG version, the catalog price is $ 117 million. Airbus brought the same A320neo to the market in early 2016.

The fact that the "Victory" plans to order only the medium-haul fleet and negotiations are conducted including 737MAX, the general director of the loukoster Andrey Kalmykov told at the end of 2017. A new fleet is needed to increase passenger traffic. In January-March both Aeroflot and Pobeda increased their traffic by 400 thousand people, the contribution of the loukoster to the passenger flow of the group in the first quarter was about 13%, or 1.4 million people, the load of flights was extremely high - 93.1 % (an increase of 1.5 percentage points). Revenue "Victory" in accordance with IFRS in the first quarter increased by 55%, to 5 billion rubles., But the loss grew at similar rates - up to 736 million rubles. The presentation to Aeroflot's IFRS statements for the first quarter indicated that in 2022 Pobeda would transport 15-16 million people.

The arrival of 737MAX8 in the Victory Park coincides with the anticipated entry of the Russian MS-21 into the market, which is of the same type. At the annual meeting, shareholders of Aeroflot approved the transactions of operating lease 50 МС-21-300 for 12 years, the lessor - the structure of Rostekha Aviakapital-Service, supplies - 2020-2026 (with the possibility of transfer).

In the materials for the meeting it was said that the MS-21 is not inferior to the 737MAX8 or A320 and even more economical in fuel consumption. The leasing rate is comparable to foreign analogs, but for the starting customer it will be lower - $ 370 thousand against $ 429 thousand per month. At the same time, during the first 20 years of the MS-21 during the first three years of supply, Aeroflot will receive compensation for a reduced guaranteed raid on foreign ships in the amount of $ 45.14 million ($ 2.26 million per vessel). The total amount of the transaction is $ 5.3 billion, including $ 3.6 billion for leasing and $ 1.7 billion for maintenance.

"It would be wrong to talk about the conflict between domestic and foreign aircraft within the Aeroflot group," said Fyodor Borisov, chief expert at the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy. The operation of a new type of aircraft is a complex process, always accompanied by failures and improvements in technology, he notes, and the business model of "Victory", which does not have a large park, assumes maximum daily flying time and no downtime leading to losses. The risks of MS-21 operation for a large carrier Aeroflot with a fleet of more than 200 aircraft are much lower, Mr. Borisov believes. In addition, the MS-21 is positioned as a more comfortable aircraft in comparison with foreign analogues, the expert specified, so it is not surprising if his flights begin in a company that claims a premium level of service.

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