Aeroflot Russian Airlines is in talks with Airbus to double its current Airbus A350 order from 14 to 28 jets.
11 years ago, Russia ordered 22 A350s: 14 A350-900s and eight A350-800s. Airbus scrapped the A350-800 program due to lack of demand, but A350 order has remained on the book. A decade later, however, no deliveries have been made. Blame European sanctions against Russia after the Crimea invasion for that.
Depressed oil prices, a weak Russian Rouble, and a poor economy also played a role in Aeroflot deferring deliveries.
But the economy is improving and some sanctions have been listed. With Transaero and VIM ceasing operations due to bankruptcy, Aeroflot finds itself in a position of growth.
And it helps to be a state-run carrier, doesn’t it? While many airlines are raking in record profit, Aeroflot is still losing money. Reuters reports:
Aeroflot recently reported a first-quarter net loss of 11.54 billion roubles ($184.49 million) as fuel and staff costs outweighed revenue growth.
Even so, the airline is not so foolish as to believe it can cut its way to growth. Doubling its A350 order from 14 to 28 jets could give Aeroflot the opportunity to add new routes or help standardize the longhaul fleet. Currently Aeroflot uses a mix of Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s for its intercontinental flights.
Aeroflot already boasts a superb business class soft product and a competitive experience in premium economy and economy class. The A350 will offer an even better hard and soft product.