Monday, 31 March 2008

Official confirmation of the end of an era: Aeroflot and the Tupolev 134

This brokers note extract across the screens today:

Aeroflot sells Tupolev 134s
March 31, 2008

Event: On Friday (28 Mar) Aeroflot announced the sale of its Tupolev 134 regional jets. Tu-134 has been furrowing the skies for more than 40 years but on 31 Dec 2007 the company stopped operating this type of aircraft. Nine of these planes were sold to Aeroflot subsidiaries: Aeroflot-Don, Aeroflot-Nord and Aeroflot-Plus; the company plans to sell the remaining five to external buyers. The average age of these aircrafts is 28 years old and they are priced at approximately $3mn.

Ah well. No more bone-shattering ‘lift-offs’ from the Soviet workhorse of the skies for Aeroflot. Um…not quite…it’s two main regional subsidiaries will still be using the Tupi for some time to come.

They have to. While, ahead of State Duma elections in December, there was lots of celebration of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 RJ – the planned replacement for the Tupi and set to be the Russian competitor to the Embraer and even the Boeing 737; the reality is that it is not even ready for test-flight yet.

But the Tupi had its charm: as I recorded in the back end of this post. The real writing on the wall came, though, when the EU closed its airspace to Tupolev 134s last year.

I wonder why? (PS: everyone survived this ‘incident’):

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