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Name: AURORA AIRLINE
7JetSet7 Code: AAZ
Status: Operational
Region: CIS
City: SAKHALINSK
Country: RUSSIA
Employees 127
Web: flyaurora.ru
Email: info@flyaurora.ru
Telephone:
Fax:
Sita:
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
AAZ-2013-11 - AURORA LAUNCH
AAZ-2016-01 - Aurora Airplanes.jpg

Formed and started operations in 2013. Previously was SAT Airlines (SKH). Schedule & charter, domestic, regional & international, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.

Address:
Sakhalinsk, Russia

Russia (Russian Federation) was established in 1991, it covers an area of 17,075,400 sq km, its population is 148.4 million, its capital city is Moscow, and its official language is Russian.

October 2013: Aeroflot (ARO) will provide a RUB430 million/$13.5 million loan for its Far East subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) for initial investments. It will have to repay the loan in 2017. According to Aurora Airline (AAZ)’s business plan, it must also increase its passenger numbers in the near future.

In September, (ARO) announced the new Far East subsidiary, originally named Taiga Airline, which was created by merging Vladivostok Avia (VLK) and (SAT) Airlines (SKH). At the end of August, Aeroflot (ARO), which signed an agreement with Sakhalin regional authorities to purchase 49% of the new carrier, changed the name to Aurora Airline (AAZ).

November 2013: Aeroflot (ARO) will launch its new Far East subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) this month - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAZ-2013-11 - AURORA LAUNCH." (ARO) holds a 51% stake and the Sakhalin regional government owns 49% of the new subsidiary. (AAZ) has received its 1st Airbus A319 in the new livery and will fly from Moscow to the Far East before the end of the week.

By year end, Aurora will have 4 A319s; +2 additional A319s/320s will arrive at the beginning of 2014. All of the airplanes are from Aeroflot (ARO)’s fleet. By 2018, (AAZ) expects its fleet to grow to 40 airplanes. It will also include some regional airplanes such as the Bombardier DHC-8-Q300, Dash 8-Q400 and DHC-6 Twin Otter. (AAZ) plans to increase its destinations from 30 to 128 and will operate flights from main cities including Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Magadan.

(ARO) needs regional government support to develop regional routes in this part of the country. (ARO) (CEO), Vitaly Saveliev said he is ready to cooperate with other regional governments in the Far East.

(IATA) Code: HZ. (ICAO) Code: SHU.

Main Base: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS).

Aurora Airline (AAZ) serves 4 countries, 9 destinations, and 8 routes.

December 2013: AviaAM Leasing has delivered a Boeing 737-5L9 (28997, RA-73002) to Aurora Airlines (AAZ) after refurbishing and modifying the airplane interior as well as a livery change on the airplane. Ferried Vilnius to Yuzhno Sakhalinsk.

January 2014: Aeroflot (ARO) has suggested it could acquire Bombardier (BMB) Dash 8-Q400s for new subsidiary Aurora Airlines (AAZ). However, such a deal is only likely if (BMB) pursues a joint venture (JV) with Rostekhnologii (Rostec) and establishes a final assembly line fot the 70 - 78 seat turboprop in Russia.

A319-111 (3336, VP-BUO), ex-(D-AVYS), (GEF) leased.

February 2014: DHC-8-201 (428, RA-67263), ex-(C-GOSW) Regional 1 Airlines leased.

May 2014: Aurora Airline (AAZ) commenced a 2x-weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) scheduled charter service on May 1st between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). The 737-500-operated service will face no direct competition. For those familiar with global history in this part of the world, this town was previously called Vladimirovka, before becoming Toyohara following the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 - 1905 and the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. After the end of World War II, the island was occupied by Russian troops, and the town became Russian again and was renamed Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in 1946.

August 2014: Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, suspended Vladivostok Avia (VLK)’s air operator’s certificate (AOC), effective August 15.

According to Rosaviatsia, the Russian Far East-based carrier (VLK) did not have the necessary airplanes to operate its scheduled or charter flights and the company’s financial situation was deteriorating. (VLK)'s fleet of 6 Tupolev Tu-204s has been returned to the lessor.

Vladivostok Avia (VLK) ceased operations several months ago following the November 2013 launch of Aeroflot (ARO)’s new Far East subsidiary Aurora Airline (AAZ), which took over Vladivostok Avia (VLK)’s routes, crews ((FC) & (CA)) and part of its management.

At the end of 2011, Rostec Corporation transferred 52.156% shares of Far East-based Vladivostok Avia (VLK) to Aeroflot (ARO), together with assets of other regional Russian carriers, to create Aurora Airlines (AAZ). The package also contained 100% of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk-based (SAT) Airlines (SKH).

A319-111 (3838, VQ-BBD), ex-(D-AVYP), delivery.

October 2014: Aurora ((IATA) Code: HZ, based at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) (AAZ) will take delivery of its 1st 3 DHC-8-400s in early 2015. According to Russia's "Vedomosti" newspaper, parent Aeroflot (ARO) will source the airplanes from the 2nd-hand market and not from Bombardier (BMB)'s now-stalled Dash 8-Q400 assembly joint venture with Russia's Rostec State Corporation.

At present, (AAZ) operates two DHC-6s, two DHC-8-200s, and four DHC- 8-300s on flights throughout Russia's Far Eastern regions. The latter 2 types are scheduled to be phased out from the airline's fleet by 2017.

Bombardier (BMB) has proposed replacing Russian carriers' ageing CRJ-200 fleets with newer Dash 8-Q400NGs. During the recent "Wings of Russia" quorum, Bombardier (BMB)'s Director Sales & Business Development Russia, (CIS) & Eastern Europe, Mark Gilbert, said the turboprop provided better fuel economy and performance on flights of roughly 1,000 km in range. Furthermore, he added, it is more tolerant of low temperatures and is therefore better suited to the harsh conditions found in Russia's Far East.

Aurora (AAZ) currently operates 18 airplanes, and serves 4 countries, 12 destinations, 11 routes and 6 daily flights.

November 2014: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) plans to double its Airbus A319 fleet in the near future. The Far East carrier, which launched operations a year ago, currently operates 6 of the type configured in a 2-class layout. Last year, it predicted its fleet would grow to 40 airplanes by 2018.

During the 1st year of operations, (AAZ)’s A319s have operated 6,000 domestic and international flights, and carried nearly 654,000 passengers. The A319s spent 17,000 hours in the air.

(AAZ) was created by merging Vladivostok Avia (VLK) and (SAT) Airlines (SKH); for a short period it was known as Taiga Airline. (AAZ) operates domestic and international flights from 3 cities in the Russia’s Far East (Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk). Its fleet also includes Boeing 737-200s, 737-500s and Bombardier DHC-8s.

According to Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, for the 1st 9 months, Aurora (AAZ) carried 794,582 passengers, up +389.6% over the year-ago period.

March 2015: The Aeroflot Group reported a full-year net loss of -RUB17.1 billion/-$274.6 million as of December 31, 2014, reversed from a net profit of +RUB7.33 billion in the year-ago period. The results are reported in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). “In the 2nd half of 2014, Russian air carriers faced serious external challenges, the major ones being a significant depreciation of the ruble and the resulting fall in consumer demand and downturn in the international travel market, which affected the annual financial results of the Group,” (ARO) deputy (CEO), Shamil Kurmashov said.

Revenue rose +9.9% year-over-year to RUB319.8 billion. Scheduled flights revenue increased +10% to RUB253.6 billion, while charter flights revenue decreased -12.5% to RUB15.02 billion, due to a decline in international traffic.

In 2014, the Aeroflot Group carried 17.1 million passengers on international routes, down -1.7% from 2013. The number of passengers on domestic routes rose +26% to 17.64 million. The total number of passengers increased +10.7% 34.7 million.

“In particular, in December the Group’s passenger traffic was up by +16% on the back of a +35.5% increase in passengers on domestic flights. Passenger traffic dynamics was the main driver of revenue growth that amounted to 9.9% in 2014,” Kurmashov said.

Operating costs increased +13.8% to RUB308.5 billion. Airplane fuel increased +10.2% year-over-year to RUB87.2 billion. “This increase is driven by the dynamics of oil and jet kerosene prices and weakening of the ruble, as well as an increase in the Group’s traffic volume, fleet expansion and addition of new routes. Airplane servicing and passenger services costs amounted to RUB61 billion, up +15.6% from 2013. This increase is primarily due to the change in the ruble’s exchange rate against foreign currencies (+7.7%), expanded scale of operations and traffic volume (+ 3%), and the change in service rates (+4.9%),” the group said.

The Aeroflot Group includes the biggest Russian carrier (ARO) as well as several subsidiaries including Donavia (DAU), OrenAir (ORB), Rossiya (SDM), Pobeda (PBD), and Aurora (AAZ).

April 2015: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) plans to increase the number of international services from Vladivostok in the (IATA) 2015 summer season, despite the downturn in Russia’s international passenger traffic. (AAZ) will launch 6x-weekly flights to Dalian and 2x-weekly services to Harbin in China.

(AAZ)’s international network from Vladivostok also includes daily Seoul service, 4x-weekly Busan service, 2x-weekly Hong Kong and a weekly Beijing service.

Aurora (AAZ), which is based in 3 cities in Russia’s Far East (Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Khabarovsk) operates international flights from all bases. From Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk it flies to Seoul, Harbin, Tokyo, and Sapporo; from Khabarovsk to Beijing, Seoul, and Harbin.

Aurora (AAZ) was created by merging Vladivostok Avia (VLK) and (SAT) Airlines (SKH); for a short period it was known as Taiga Airline. (AAZ) operates domestic and international flights with a fleet of Airbus A319s, Boeing 737-500s, Bombardier DHC-8-Q200s and DHC-8-Q300s, and a DHC-6 Twin Otter.

July 2015: News Item A-1: Aurora Airline (AAZ) operated its 1st Boeing 737-500 technical flight to the Kuril Iturup Island airport in Russia’s Far East to test the new runway with a narrow body medium-haul airplane.

(AAZ) currently operates the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - Iturup route with a 50-seat DHC-8-300 airplane. It said the 737-500 service will allow (AAZ) to double capacity on the route.

The new airport, which was finished last year, is located 7 km from Kurilsk with a 2,300 meter long runway. In September 2014, (AAZ) operated the 1st flight to the island’s new airport with a DHC-8-300.

Aurora (AAZ), which was launched in 2013, was created by merging (SAT) Airlines (SKH) and Vladivostok Avia (VLK). (AAZ) operates domestic flights in Russia’s Far East as well as international flights to countries including South Korea and China. Its fleet consists of 18 airplanes, comprising 7 Airbus A319s, 3 Boeing 737s, 6 DHC-8s (3 DHC-8-300s and 3 DHC-8-200s) and 2 DHC-6 Twin Otters.

News Item A-2: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) plans to take delivery of 5 new Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s and 1 DHC-8-300.

The Aeroflot Group, which had purchased 3 68-seat Dash 8-Q400s, is now converting them according to Russian standards. The Sakhalin region government will acquire +2 more of the type. Local authorities will also transfer 1 DHC-8-300 to Aurora (AAZ) to be used for mostly charter and medical flights.

(AAZ) is considering constructing a Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) hangar in the Sakhalin region to maintain its fleet of 18 airplanes, comprising 7 Airbus A319s, 3 Boeing 737s, 6 DHC-8s (3 DHC-8-300s and 3 DHC-8-200s) and 2 DHC-6s Twin Otters. In 2014, Aurora (AAZ)’s 1st operational year, (AAZ) carried 1.05 million passengers.

(AAZ) has previously forecast that by 2018, its fleet will include 42 airplanes serving 120 routes. The number of passengers is predicted to double, reaching 2.5 million, according to (AAZ), which also plans to triple weekly services up to 500 flights per week.

August 2015: Russia’s Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport will begin construction on a new terminal in 2016, which can handle 500 domestic and 200 international passengers per hour. The airport is located in Russia’s Far East.

The new terminal will cost a maximum of RUB2 billion/$31.3 million excluding value-added tax (VAT), according to the Sakhalin region administration. The previous administration estimated terminal construction to be RUB5 billion.

Design specifications still must be developed and approved by the public. Specifications to be discussed should include earthquake-resistant requirements due to instability in the region, Sakhalin Governor, Oleg Kozhemyako said.

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport (which handled 373,678 passengers, down -3% year-over-year in the 1st half of 2015) is the biggest of 7 airports in the Far East region. It is a base airport for Aeroflot (ARO)’s subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ).

November 2015: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) has achieved (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification following an assessment of its operational management and control systems.

(AAZ) (CEO), Konstantin Sukhorebrik said, “(IOSA) certification is a mandatory standard for airlines operating in the world market. Aurora (AAZ) is a part of the Aeroflot Group, which has very high safety standards. Passing the audit successfully, we have confirmed our competence, experience and work quality.”

Aurora Airline (AAZ) was created by merging Vladivostok Avia (VLK) and (SAT) Airlines (SKH); for a short period it was known as Taiga Airline. (AAZ) operates domestic and international flights. It plans to double its number of passengers and fleet in the next 3 years.

A319-111 (2072, VP-BDN), ex-(D-AVYL), AviaAM Leasing leased.

January 2016: Aeroflot (ARO), which is combining 3 of its regional subsidiaries (Rossiya Airlines (SDM), Donavia (DAU), and Orenair (ORB)) into 1 company under the Rossiya Airlines (SDM) brand, said the fleet of the renewed carrier will reach 74 aircraft and will carry up to 10 million passengers per year.

After the merger, which is expected to be finalized in 2016, the subsidiary will concentrate on regional markets.

According to Aeroflot (ARO), the new Rossiya (SDM) will employ 1,500 of 2,060 OrenAir (ORB)’s staff. Details about Donavia (DAU) have not been disclosed.

(ARO) also plans to develop the premium segment, while its Pobeda (PBD) subsidiary will remain in the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment. Russia’s Far East based Aurora Airline (AAZ) will be a separate regional subsidiary developing the network in the eastern part of the country.

February 2016: News Item A-1: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, Aurora Airline (AAZ) (which serves Russia’s Far East) carried 1.125 million passengers in 2015, up +7.1% year-over-year (YOY).

(AAZ)’s total number of flights increased +21% to 15,441. Domestic operations reached 11,824, up +19% (YOY). International services were up +27% to 3,617.

The Russian Far East carrier attributed the growth to fleet expansion. In 2015, it took delivery of 2 Airbus A319s and 1 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.

Aurora (AAZ)’s fleet consists of more than >20 aircraft, including 9 A319s, 3 Boeing 737s, as well as Dash 8-Q400s, DHC-8s and DHC-6 Twin Otters.

(AAZ) launched 9 new regional destinations in 2015, some that have been abandoned for >20 years.

In 2015, (AAZ) achieved (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification following an assessment of its operational management and control systems.

News Item A-2: Aurora Airlines (AAZ), the Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary, launched 2x-weekly (Tuesdays and Sundays) operations from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (UUS) to Blagoveschensk (BQS) on February 2. The 1,188 km domestic sector is flown by (AAZ)’s 737-500s and will face direct competition from the incumbent Krasavia (ZXD), which also flies the city pair 2x-weekly.

May 2016: Aeroflot (ARO) plans to carry 30 million passengers in 2016, (ARO) (CEO), Vitaly Savelyev told Russia’s TV Rossiya 24. The whole Aeroflot Group is expected to handle 40 million passengers.

The Aeroflot Group includes low-cost Pobeda Airline (PBD), which more than doubled traffic in the 1st quarter to 950,794 passengers. Saint Petersburg-based Rossiya Airlines (SDM), Rostov-on-Don-based Donavia (DAU), and Orenburg-based Orenair (ORB) are now combining into 1 airline operating under the Rossiya Airlines (SDM) brand.

In the 1st quarter, Orenair (ORB) carried 491,346 passengers, up +8.1% year-over-year (YOY). Rossiya (SDM) carried 862,617 passengers, down -21.2%. Donavia (DAU) carried 209,116 passengers, down 35.8%. Aurora Airline (AAZ), which serves Russia’s Far East, carried 276,827 passengers, up +21.5% (YOY).

In 2015, Aeroflot (ARO) carried 26.1 million passengers, up +10.6% (YOY). The group’s traffic reached 39.4 million passengers, up +13.4%.

July 2016: The Aeroflot Group carried 15.8 million passengers from January to May, up +11.5% year-over-year (YOY).

The Aeroflot Group includes Aeroflot Airline (ARO), the low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Pobeda Airline (PBD), Far East subsidiary Aurora Airline (AAZ), as well as Rossiya Airline (SDM), Orenburg-based OrenAir (ORB) and Rostov-on-Don-based Donavia (DAU).

Moscow-based, Aeroflot Airline (ARO) carried 10.9 million out of the total traffic, up +13.6% (YOY). Group (RPK)s grew +13.2% to 35.3 billion and load factor reached 77.4% LF, up +3 points (YOY).

Aeroflot Airlines (ARO)’s load factor was up +2 points to 77.7% LF during the period.

In May, the Group carried 3.5 million passengers, up +8.8% year-over-year (YOY), while (ARO) carried 2.4 million, up +12.4%. Domestic traffic for the Group grew +8.5% in May compared to the year-ago period, while international traffic increased +9.2%.

Aeroflot (ARO) said it experienced increases in international traffic despite a flight ban to Ukraine, Egypt and a charter flight ban to Turkey.

October 2016: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary Aurora Airline (AAZ) (which serves Russia’s Far East) has forcasted it will carry 1.4 million passengers in 2016, a +20% year-over-year (YOY) traffic increase, according to (CEO) Konstantin Sukhorebrik.

(AAZ) carried its millionth passenger in the middle of October. Sukhorebrik said the growth is because of an increase in the region’s commuter traffic. Regional flights are subsidized by local governments.

In the 1st half, Aurora (AAZ) carried 607,040 passengers, up +19.9% YOY, placing (AAZ) in the top 10 of Russia’s biggest airlines.

(AAZ)'s fleet comprises >20 aircraft, including 10 Airbus A319s, as well as Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s, 11 DHC-8s and 2 DHC-6 Twin Otters.

February 2017: A319-111 (2072, VP-BDN), ex-(D-AVYL), AviaMM Leasing.

April 2017: Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary Aurora Airline (AAZ), which serves Russia’s far eastern regions, carried 303,530 passengers in the 2017 1st quarter, up +10% year-over-year.

(AAZ) operated 5,161 flights, up +28% over the previous year, and carried 226,050 passengers on domestic routes and 77,490 on international.

(AAZ) also added 2 aircraft, a Bombardier Q400 and De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, to its fleet of 10 Airbus A319s, 11 Q400s and 3 Twin Otters.

Aurora launched 5 new services: Khabarovsk - Tynda; Komsomolsk-on-Amur - Magadan; Petropavlovsk - Kamchatsky - Magadan; Vladivostok - Tokyo; and Vladivostok - Harbin.

October 2017: "More Russian Carriers Take Over (VIM) Airlines’ Far East Routes" by (ATW) Polina Montag-Girmes montag.girmes@gmail.com October 20, 2017.

Russia’s Ikar Airline, which operates under "Pegas Fly" brand, will take over (VIM) Airlines (MOV)’s service to Anadyr in Russia’s Far East as (VIM) ceases scheduled services following financial turbulence, the Chukotka region government said in a statement on October 20. Deputy Governor Leonid Nikolaev said Krasnoyarsk-based Ikar confirmed it will launch Moscow Sheremetyevo to Anadyr Boeing 767 services from March 2018; ticket sales will start in November.

Currently, UTair Aviation (TYU) is the only carrier to provide service on the route. (TYU) will carry passengers with tickets for (VIM) Airlines flights through October 28 if free seats are available.

In addition, the Russian government issued a statement saying an agreement had been reached with Far East Yakutia Airlines (SYL) to increase frequencies on Anadyr to Magadan and Pevek to Moscow services from weekly to 2x-weekly.

Also, the Chukotka government is negotiating with Aeroflot (ARO) subsidiary Aurora Airline (AAZ) and (S7) Airlines (SBR) to develop the route network to neighboring regions, including Anadyr to Petropavlovsk to Kamchatsky and Anadyr to Yakutsk to Novosibirsk services.

Chukotka is in a remote region of Russia, wedged between the Pacific and the Arctic oceans; half of its territory is beyond the Arctic Circle. Because of the region’s location, the government considers transport development to be very important.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
AAZ-737-500 - 2014-10
AAZ-A319 - 2013-11
AAZ-A319 - 2015-07.jpg

November 2017:

1 737-5L9 (CFM56-3C) (28997, RA-73002), AVIA-AM LEASING LSD 2013-12.

2 737-500 (CFM56-3C1).

1 A319-111 (2072, VP-BDN), EX-(D-AVYL), AVIAAM LEASING LSD 2017-02.

5 A319-111 (2222, VP-BWK - - SEE ATTACHED - - "AAZ-2013-11 - AURORA LAUNCH"), (ARO) LSD 2013-11.

1 A319-111 (3336, VP-BUO), EX-(D-AVYS), (GEF) LSD 2014-01.

1 A319-111 (3838, VQ-BBD), EX-(D-AVYP), 2014-08.

2 DHC-6 TWIN OTTER.

3 DHC-8-201 (428, RA-67263), REGIONAL AIRLINES 1 LSD 2014-02.

3 DHC-8-300, TO BE USED FOR MOSTLY CHARTER & MEDICAL FLIGHTS.

3 +2 ORDERS BOMBARDIER DASH 8-Q400, 68Y.

Management:
(definitions)

KONSTANTIN SUKHOREBRIK, DIRECTOR GENERAL.

 
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