Aeroflot’s Pobeda mulls 30 B737 MAX 8 order, conversion options
While one after another Russian airline files for bankruptcy or faces legal proceedings, Aeroflot and its offsprings are staying afloat. According to state information, Pobeda Airlines, a Russian low-cost carrier and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Aeroflot Group, is planning to purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets and is out to tender for consulting services for the procurement of the new aircraft.
State-owned Russian news agency TACC reported on July 30, 2018, that Pobeda is considering the purchase of 30 B737 MAX 8s. In addition, the carrier is interested in rights to convert some of the new Boeing aircraft to the MAX 10 or MAX 200 models. Sale and leaseback transactions are also being considered, as procurement documents indicate.
According to information on the state procurement website, the company is now seeking "consulting (legal) services on the terms of the transaction regarding the purchase of 30 new Boeing 737MAX8 aircraft (with the possibility of converting to Boeing 737 MAX10 and/or Boeing 737 MAX8-200 aircraft), with the option of further converting this transaction to a reverse sale-and-leaseback transaction)."
Previously, on July 20, 2018, Aviator reported that Pobeda signed a deal with Boeing for the order of 15 B737 MAX 8s, their delivery scheduled starting autumn 2019, and for 10 more B737 NGs due in mid-2019, some via sale-leaseback with Russia‘s Sberbank Leasing. According to the information, by 2020, the carrier’s fleet would consist of 45 aircraft. It is unclear whether the latest order for the 30 737 MAX 8s would be an expansion to the July agreement with Boeing.
Based at Vnukovo International Airport (VKO), one of the four largest airports that serve Moscow, Pobeda began operations in December 2014, after its predecessor, Dobrolet, Aeroflot Group's first low-cost subsidiary, was blacklisted by the European Union and effectively grounded in August 2014, information from the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) indicates. Today, Pobeda operates scheduled services to both domestic destinations across Russia and to international destinations across Europe.
Although on its official website Pobeda states that by 2018 its fleet would include 40 aircraft, to date, according to various sources, the budget carrier’s fleet consists of only 20 Boeing 737-800 NG (Next Generation) aircraft, with the average age of 2.5 years.
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