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Vladivostok Air
IATA
XF
ICAO
VLK
Callsign
VLADAIR
Founded 1932
Hubs Vladivostok International Airport
Secondary hubs Khabarovsk Novy International Airport, Moscow Vnukovo International Airport
Focus cities Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport
Frequent flyer program Leader Program
Fleet size 23 airplanes (+7 orders), 11 helicopters
Destinations 32 (10 international, 22 domestic)
Parent company State Owned (51%), Company Employees (49%)
Headquarters Vladivostok, Russia
Key people General Director: Vladimir Alexandrovich Saibel
Executive Vice Director: Igor Efimovich Bagelfer
Website http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en

Vladivostok Air (also Vladivostok Avia; Russian: Владивосток Авиа) (IATA: XFICAO: VLK) is an airline based in Vladivostok, Russia. Vladivostok Air is the largest carrier in the Russian Far East and Siberia. It operates scheduled domestic flights within Russia and international flights to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Vladivostok Air also offers charter flights and has a well established helicopter service. Its main hub is Vladivostok International Airport, while it also has secondary hubs in Moscow Vnukovo International Airport and Khabarovsk Novy International Airport. Vladivostok Air has a focus city in Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport.[1]

Prior to late September 2008, only a few flights between the cities of Vladivostok and Khabarovsk were available on Vladivostok Air. However, when the Russian government decided to close Dalavia due to high debt levels, Vladivostok Air was suggested to start up several destinations from Khabarovsk. Almost immediately after the closure, Vladivostok Air announced the start of 7 additional domestic routes and 4 new international routes from Khabarovsk, to compensate for the huge loss of service.[2]

Contents

History

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Beginnings

The 1930s saw active construction of airports in the Soviet republics throughout the USSR. The first airfield of the Primorye region was constructed in 1931. Construction began on two airfields; a hydro-airport in Vladivostok's Second River region and another named Lake Springs, (which is now part of the current Vladivostok International Airport) located outside of Vladivostok in Artyom. By August 27, 1932, a hydroplane completed its first flight and on September 2, the plane delivered four passengers from Khabarovsk to the Second River Airport. That September day is now considered the official beginning of operations for Vladivostok Air.[3]

Ever since then, passenger flights between Khabarovsk and Vladivostok have became a regular occurrence. In 1934, the Second River airport was moved to a dry location. This allowed for the use of Po-2 planes, with which regular flights were made.[3] New airports also opened in Iman (now called Dalnerechensk) and Ozernye Klyuchi. These new airfields, combined with newer airplanes, greatly fueled growth.[1]

World War II and the turboprop era

During World War II, Vladivostok Air's Polikarpov Po-2 planes carried supplies of lead-tin concentrates needed on the war's fronts and towards the end of the war, ammunition to the front lines. In July 1941, Vladivostok Air's fleet of U-2, P-5, and Sh-2 planes were transferred to the Ozernye Klyuchi airport. This opened a new era of development in the history of Primorye civil aviation and Vladivostok Air.[3]

During the ten year period following World War II, Vladivostok Air's Po-2 and Sh-2 planes were used for a wide range of chemical, nautical, geological, and forest applications. Airfields in the Primorye region continued to develop rapidly, later serving as the basis for the construction of airports in the 1960s and 1980s. In 1948, passenger flights from Vladivostok to Moscow began on Ilyushin Il-12 planes.[3]

In 1953, the Antonov An-2 commenced service, becoming a significant educational tool for Vladivostok Air. It allowed pilots to amass experience in a number of different flight-related activities and to carry several thousand passengers during this period. Taking over the workload of the Po-2, the "Annushka" became a nearly irreplaceable aircraft for Vladivostok Air's agricultural charters. During these years, Vladivostok Air also began mastering helicopter flight. This began with the Mil Mi-4 model which dutifully toiled away for some 30 odd-years and was succeeded later by the Mil Mi-1, Kamov Ka-15, Mil Mi-8, Kamov Ka-26, and Kamov Ka-32.[3]

Jet era and expansion

By 1958, the beginnings of the Primorye region's passenger jet engine era started by the introduction of the Tupolev Tu-104 plane. On May 1958, the Tupolev Tu-114D completed the first trial non-stop flight from Moscow to Vladivostok (on Aeroflot). Vladivostok Air also began basic use of the Lisunov Li-2 plane, which would continue to operate regular passenger flights from Ozernye Klyuchi Airport to Khabarovsk for the next 15 years.[3]

By then, the Ozernye Klyuchi airport had exhausted Vladivostok Air's expansion as it required larger jet engine planes. From 1959 to 1964 a complex of ground facilities were erected to allow regular flights for Tu-104s (1958), Ilyushin Il-18s (1963) and Antonov An-10s (1964), sharply increasing passenger volumes. In February 1961, the first brick terminal was built facilitating the processing of up to 200 passengers at once. This marked the beginning of the larger airport known as Vladivostok International Airport.[3]

Between the 1960s and 1980s, pilots from Vladivostok Air became pioneers in servicing the region's various whaling and fishing towns. On August 30, 1961, Vladivostok Air's pilots were first in the Far East to begin fishing industry operations with Mi-1 helicopters. Helicopters from Vladivostok Air served as both cranes and ambulatories. This further expanded Vladivostok's growing charter operations.[3]

The emergence of the small Yakovlev Yak-40 jets and Mi-8 helicopters helped facilitate transport as well as meet the economic demand of industries. In 1973, construction started on a new terminal at Vladivostok International Airport which began operating at the end of 1976. Due to an increase in terminal capacity, Vladivostok Air soon began regular service with Tupolev Tu-154s. This period also saw a more dynamic development of the Vladivostok Air's fleet as new Yak-40s and Mi-8s were purchased. The completion of a second runway in June 1985 opened up Vladivostok Airport to all modern aircraft and provided for the non-stop Aeroflot air service between Moscow and Vladivostok onboard Ilyushin Il-62 planes.[3]

Post-Soviet era

In 1990, after having signed an agreement in Papua New Guinea for the use of Ka-32 helicopters, Vladivostok Air entered the international arena. In 1992, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vladivostok became an international airport fueling rapid expansion. That same year, the company bought two Ilyushin Il-76 planes and began basic service with them, in addition to Tupolev Tu-154B-2 aircraft on international routes.[3]

Since 1994, Vladivostok Air has been an openly traded stock company, "Vladivostok Air", whose holdings at the time included the airline and Vladivostok International Airport. By 1995, the first modern long-distance Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft were purchased.[3]

On March 4, 1999, the renovated international terminal at Vladivostok International Airport was put into operation, allowing for additional flights to Asia and North America.[3]

2000 - 2008

In 2004, Vladivostok Air passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit, becoming a full IATA member. This major achievement has led to recognation of Vladivostok Air as a safe and reliable airline.[4]

In 2005 Vladivostok Air was the first airline in the world to start operation with the new long to medium haul Tupolev Tu-204-300 aircraft. Since then, 5 more Tu-204s have been brought into the fleet.[3]

In December 2006 large scale reconstruction of domestic terminal was completed in Vladivostok International Airport, helping to increase passenger comfort, capacity, and growth.[3]

On February 5, 2007, with the help of ILFC, Vladivostok Air leased the first foreign made aircraft in the Far East, an Airbus A-320. On January 25, 2008, Vladivostok Air leased a further two more Airbus A-320 aircraft painted with an updated livery. Currently, Vladivostok Air has 5 A320s and two on order.[3]

On February 15, 2008, JSC Vladivostok Air completed a reorganization, and JSC Vladivostok International Airport was separated from Vladivostok Air. Vladivostok International Airport is now included in the Russian register of open joint stock companies.[3]

One of the most significant achievements of 2008 was the successful accreditation for compliance with IATA safety requirements (IOSA).[5]

Recent news

On January 20, 2009, Vladivostok Air celebrated its 15th birthday as an open joint stock company. For the short period of time the airline has made a huge step forward to develop from a regional carrier into the largest company in the Far East and East Siberia.[5]

Vladivostok Air has phased out old Soviet planes with more modern, long, and midhaul planes. Additionally, dozens of new domestic and international flights have been launched, increasing total transported passengers to over 900,000 annually. In June 2009, the first longhaul A330-300 began service, connecting the two cities of Vladivostok and Moscow. Additionally, two more modern A320's and A330's are expected to join the fleet between October 2009 and the summer of 2010. Additionally, four Antonov An-148 with two options were ordered at MAKS Airshow 2009.[6]

On April 28, 2009, Vladivostok Air received the Wings of Russia 2008 award in the category of "Airline of the Year — Passengers Choice".[7][8]

Vladivostok Air announced its earnings on July 15. They showed that despite the severe economic downturn, passenger traffic has increased by an incredible 36.6%, while passenger capacity has increased by 28.8% in the first six months of 2009, when compared to those months in 2008. Additionally, the load factor for the same time period increased by 9.5%. Finally, Vladivostok's income was an astounding 38.1% higher for the same period of time in 2009 when compared to 2008. These strong earnings are attributed to fleet network optimization, transition to more fuel efficient planes, and to the takeover of Dalavia's Khabarovsk hub.[9]

On July 17, 2009, Vladivostok Air introduced its new online sales system. Previously, customers had to purchase tickets thru one of Vladivostok's sales offices. The new reservation system allows purchases with all major credit cards. In addition to the new sales system, passengers can now choose from three economy fares and one business class fare. These include "Promo", "Eco", "Eco +", and "Business". "Promo" is the cheapest fare selection, with the bare minimum amenities, while the "Business" fare is the most expensive, with access to all business class amenities.[10]

Destinations

Vladivostok Air operates the following services (as of March 2010):[11]

Asia
Europe

Charter destinations

Vladivostok Air operates charter flights to the following destinations (as of March 2010):[11]

Africa
Asia
Europe

Incidents and accidents

In July 2001, Vladivostok Air Flight 352, a Tupolev Tu-154 belonging to Vladivostok Air crashed while attempting to land in Irkutsk, Russia, killing all 145 people aboard.[12] A Russian official said that 12 Chinese died on the flight.[13]

Fleet

Tupolev Tu-154M of Vladivostok Air
Airbus A320 of Vladivostok Air at Moscow-Vnukovo International Airport
Vladivostok Air Airplanes
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-212 2 0 (12/138)150 Replacement for Tu-154
Airbus A320-214 3 0 (12/138)150 Replacement for Tu-154
Airbus A330-301 2 1 (24/303)327 The first A330 entered service on June 9, 2009, flying between Vladivostok and Moscow. The plane previously flew for Aer Lingus.
Antonov An-148 0 4 2 (0/68-85) 68-85 Replacement for Yak-40; will arrive between 2012-2014.
Tupolev-154M 5 (0/161)161
(8/143)151
To be phased out; all planes in reserve fleet.
Tupolev Tu-204-300 6 (8/134)142 Launch customer
Yakovlev Yak-40 5 (0/32)32 To be replaced by An-148.
Vladivostok Helicopters
Helicopter Total Orders Passengers Notes
Mi-8 11 (0/32)32
(0/28)28
(0/21)21
(16/0)16
Available in cargo configuration with 21 foldable seats, VIP configuration with 16 business seats, or passenger configuration with 28-32 economy seats.

The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A320 in November 2006 under a lease agreement with ILFC. Since the arrival of the first A320, four more have arrived, with a sixth and seventh scheduled for delivery in 2010. These A320s are currently in use on flights to destinations in Asia, Europe, and Russia.[14]

On January 6, 2009, ILFC announced that the airline has leased three used Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The first aircraft was delivered in May 2009, after coming off lease from Aer Lingus. The lease term is for 7 years.[15] The plane entered service on June 9, 2009, flying between Vladivostok and Moscow.[16] The A330 will seat 327 people and will be used to fly mainly between Vladivostok and Moscow. The second A330 was delivered in October 2009, while the third is expected in March 2010.[17]

With an influx of more modern planes, like the Airbus A320 and Tupolev Tu-204, Vladivostok Air has been able to shift all remaining Tupolev Tu-154 planes into its reserve and charter fleet.[9]

During MAKS Airshow 2009, Vladivostok Air signed a precontractual agreement to buy four Antonov An-148, with options for two more. These regional jets will carry between 68-85 seats and will eventually replace the five aging Yakovlev Yak-40 planes.[18] The planes are expected to be delivered between 2012 and 2014.[19]

Codeshares

References

  1. ^ a b Vladivostok Air Fact Sheet. vladivostokavia.ru.
  2. ^ "The number of flights from Khabarovsk increased". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/about/press-center/news_for_partners/2008-11-14-00683. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Vladivostok Air History. vladivostokavia.ru
  4. ^ "Current IATA members". iata.org. http://www.iata.org/membership/airline_members_list.htm. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Vladivostok Air Performance. vladivostokavia.ru.
  6. ^ "Vladivostok Air in Sakhalin". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/ru/passengers/news/2009-10-1-00889/. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "About Wings of Russia Award". ATO Events. http://www.events.ato.ru/eng/events/wr. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "Passenger's choice is Vladivostok Air". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-04-10-00784/. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Airline's result for the first half of 2009". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-07-15-00846/. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Buy tickets through the Internet!". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-07-17-00848/. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Vladivostok Air Destinations". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/fm/. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Russians search for plane crash clues". bbc.co.uk. 4 July 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1421319.stm. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Engine Failed on Russian Plane, 12 Chinese Among Victims". peopledaily.com.cn. 4 July 2001. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200107/04/eng20010704_74103.html. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  14. ^ Airliner World, January 2007
  15. ^ "Vladivostok Avia leases one used Airbus A330-300 from ILFC". ILFC Press Releases. 6 January 2009. http://207.45.187.42/~ilfc01/viewArticle.php?id=200. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  16. ^ "Vladivostok — Moscow — Vladivostok on A330". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/about/press-center/news/2009-06-10-00833/. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  17. ^ "The first wide-body aircraft for Vladivostok Air". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-05-5-00806/. Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Work results for 7 months and long-range plans for development of the Khabarovsk market". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-08-28-00860/. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  19. ^ "MAKS showcases demand for non-western equipment". ainonline.com. http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/maks-showcases-demand-for-non-western-equipment/. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  20. ^ "Aeroflot code-sharing flights Winter 2008-2009". Aeroflot. http://www.aeroflot.ru/eng/expl.aspx?ob_no=10174. Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  21. ^ "Cooperation with Asiana Airlines". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/news/2009-03-24-00760/. Retrieved 24 March 2009. 
  22. ^ "Special offer for flights to six Chinese cities". vladivostokavia.ru. http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/passengers/specials/2009-09-14-00892/. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 

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