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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

COVID Prompts Aeroflot To Delay Airbus A350 Deliveries

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Aeroflot has shared today that it will delay taking delivery of 10 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The flag carrier of Russia has made this decision after several of its aircraft were grounded due to the global health crisis.

Aeroflot, Airbus A350, Delivery
Aeroflot will not receive any further A350s for up to another couple of years. Photo: Sumit Singh / Simple Flying

A change of circumstances

According to AFP via Yahoo News, Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Savelie told state news agency TASS that his company is postponing the delivery of the rest of the widebodies by likely a year or two. He concluded that at the moment, the firm has nowhere to fly the planes.

The airline was in high spirits in March when it received its first Airbus A350 XWB at a grand ceremony in Toulouse. This jet was named Tchaikovsky, after the famous Russian composer, and the company highlighted how the type would be a vessel to promote the country’s culture around the world.

The carrier was proud to state that it would have several more A350s, and they would fly to New York, Beijing, Delhi, Shanghai. They were also set to take on new and future routes such as Osaka and Singapore. However, it looks like there will be a delay before such feats occur.

The A350 specializes in long-haul services. However, amid the current climate, Aeroflot’s initial unit, registration VQ-BFY, has been performing a more humble operation. It has been flying daily on a route between the Russian cities of Moscow and Sochi. This is a trip that only takes approximately two hours to complete each way.

Aeroflot A350 Premium Economy
There is plenty of space onboard the A350 XWB. Photo: Sumit Singh / Simple Flying

Domestic focus

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the aviation industry. For the first six months of 2020, Aeroflot had been hit with a 54 percent drop in passengers. This figure also includes activity for its subsidiary, Pobeda.

A large percentage of the ongoing operations would be related to domestic traffic amid all the global travel bans. Therefore, Aeroflot is still planning to go ahead with the purchase of several Sukhoi Superjet 100s this year. Altogether, the Russian government is looking to promote the national aerospace industry.

Saveliev said the following, as reported by AFP via Yahoo News.

“Aeroflot confirmed the purchase of national planes to the industry ministry. Despite the serious situation, we will receive eight SSJ-100s this year and 14 more next year.”

Aeroflot, Airbus A350, Cabin
Aeroflot had high hopes for the jet before the pandemic. Photo: Sumit Rehal – Simple Flying

One for the future

Altogether it’s not surprising that Aeroflot would want to wait before getting its hands on more A350s amid the current conditions. Several other carriers are in the same boat and are having similar discussions with manufacturers. Regardless, when the time is right, the widebody will serve the airline well across the globe.

Simple Flying reached out to Aeroflot for comment on the delivery of its Airbus A350 aircraft. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts about Aeroflot postponing the delivery of its Airbus A350 XWB jets? Do you feel that this is a good move for the airline? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.

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