Transaero Airlines, Russia’s second largest airline, expects its fast pace of growth to continue over the next several years as it anticipates delivery of both its first Airbus A380 and first Boeing 747-8 in 2015.
The carrier is also interested in expanding international partnerships, and yesterday signed an interline agreement with New York John F. Kennedy International Airport-based JetBlue Airways, CEO Olga Pleshakova said yesterday during a meeting with editors at Aviation Week’s offices in Washington.
Enplanements in 2012 rose 22% year-over-year to 10.3 million and, according to Pleshakova, passenger growth continued at the same pace through the first nine months of 2013. First-half 2013 revenue increased 18% year-over-year to RUB45.5 billion ($1.4 billion), while operating income rose 14% to RUB4.1 billion and net profits 69% to RUB464 million. Transaero’s 2012 net profit was RUB901.9 million, up 8.4% from 2011, on a 12.8% increase in revenue to RUB97.6 billion.
“I’m definitely hoping the growth will continue,” Pleshakova said.
She explained that the airline in recent years has taken advantage of “exponential growth in tourist traffic from Russia,” operating aircraft with high seating capacity and load factors in the 85%-range. About 80% of the carrier’s flying is international.
“We’re increasing capacity, increasing the number of seats,” Pleshakova said. For example, Transaero’s Boeing 747-400s seat 525 passengers in two classes, which the CEO noted is the “largest seat capacity for a 747-400 in the world.”
She added, “Our routes will have airplanes that have maximum passenger capacity, which is especially important for tourism.” The carrier’s Airbus A380s will be configured to carry 650 seats, including 12 in first-class and 24 business-class.
Transaero has four A380s and four 747-8s on firm order. The carrier will configure its 747-8s with three classes of seats and aim to attract business passengers with the Boeing widebodies. “If the A380 is the aircraft for high-volume tourism groups, the 747-8 is our answer to the . . . routes with less tourists but [more business-oriented] passengers who are more demanding than tourists,” she explained.