- Aviation Watchdog Lets Budget Airline Red Wings Fly Again
- Four Dead as Russian Airliner Overshoots Runway, Catches Fire
- Lebedev Offers to Sell Half Low-Cost Airline for 1 Ruble
- Pilots of Crashed Tu-204 Lacked Training Say Prosecutors
KRASNODAR, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russian budget airline Red Wings is planning to more than double its aircraft fleet by 2017, from eight planes to 18, a company executive said Monday.
In mid-June, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) gave Red Wings permission to resume operations that were suspended soon after a fatal incident at a Moscow airport in December.
Red Wings, which currently operates eight Tupolev Tu-204 airliners, is planning to sign a memorandum with the Tupolev Design Bureau on the delivery of another 10 aircraft over a period of three years, starting in 2014, said Yevgeny Klyucharev, company deputy general director for strategic development.
He offered no indication of the contract’s value. The airline is planning to carry about 500,000 passengers this year and 1.5 million next year, he said.
Red Wings, formerly owned by billionaire former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev, suffered a fatal accident December 29 when one of its Tu-204s skidded off the runway at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, killing five of the eight crew members aboard.
Red Wings flights were suspended in February after the aviation watchdog uncovered safety violations by the airline. After it was suspended, Lebedev sold the troubled airline for a symbolic 1 ruble (3 US cents).
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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.