Airbus kicked off the MAKS-2021 air show today sharing details about its presence in Russia. With Simple Flying in attendance, Airbus EVP, Head of Region & Sales Europe Wouter Van Wersch broke down how his company’s aircraft types are performing amid this stage of the pandemic. Notably, he highlighted that all of the A350s in the country are currently in service.
Simple Flying was also there in the flesh when Aeroflot took delivery of its first A350-900 at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse Métropol in February 2020. This event was just before the rise of the pandemic and there was speculation about just how much the aviation industry would be impacted by the virus. However, not many anticipated just how much the market would be rocked.
Nonetheless, despite the challenges that airlines and manufacturers have faced since the onset of the health crisis, the flag carrier of Russia received five more A350 units since registration VQ-BFY arrived last year. VQ-BFS and VP-BXA both made their fleet entry in May 2021 before VP-BXC joined the fold the following month. Then, earlier this month, VQ-BFY arrived to make up the current fleet.
These units can be seen all across the continents. They have been spotted at the likes of Miami, Seychelles, Male, Sochi, Antalya, Varadero in recent weeks.
The other mainstays
Russia’s other Airbus widebody, the A330, isn’t seeing the same action as the A350. Nevertheless, the figures aren’t too bad compared to the worst of the pandemic. 76% of all A330s in Russia are presently active.
When it comes to narrowbodies, the numbers are more positive when against the A330. 90% of the A320s in Russia are active. The first Airbus A320 Family aircraft entered commercial service in the nation in 2003. Now, these planes combine with Airbus’ other offerings to total over 340 of the manufacturer’s aircraft across fleets in the country.
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With only six A350s and hundreds of A320 family aircraft, the percentage of the narrowbodies in the air is impressive. Overall, this factor is down to a strong domestic recovery in Russia. This is something that Airbus recognizes.
“We have a [long-lasting] presence in Russia… this is a critical and very important market for us,” Van Wersch shared at MAKS-2021.
“Very positive signs in terms of the domestic market. Of course, international certainly remains very complicated because of the differences of rules between countries.”
Overall, the A350 is set to dominate widebody operations for Airbus this decade. The twinjet is already a favorite among airlines for its economic balance on long-haul services, and as recovery continues in Russia, we can expect more joining the fold and hitting the skies in the years to come.
What are your thoughts about the Airbus A350’s activity in Russia? What do you make of the future of this twinjet in the country? Let us know what you think of the aircraft and its prospects in the comment section.