Saratov Airlines has become the first Russian operator of the E-Jets in that country after receiving two E195ARs leased from GECAS last month. Embraer’s E190 and E195 were certified by Russian’s Interstate Aviation Committee in December 2012. That accreditation allowed Embraer to market the two E-Jets to Russian carriers and tap into opportunities in that country for western-manufactured aircraft between 110 and 120 seats.
Paul Cesar Silva, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, cited the prospects for Russian operators when the carrier received the aircraft. “We see good potential in Russia for aircraft of the capacity that E-Jets offer. Saratov will showcase the aircraft’s excellent economics, reliability and cabin design.”
The airline, known locally as Saravia, has a fleet of 11 YAK-42 jets but it used the acquisition of the E195s to introduce the Saratov Airlines sub-brand and created a new, distinctive livery. The bright yellow E-Jets are intended to replace some of Yakolevs as the carrier embarks on a fleet modernization program. Saratov’s E195s are configured with 114 seats in a dual class configuration.
The first E-Jet city pair will be Saratov Tsentralny – Moscow Domodedovo. Block time on the 371 nautical mile route is 80 minutes and is one of the scheduled markets on which the E195s will fly. In addition to regular service between Saratov and Prague, which is slated to start this quarter, the airline intends to deploy the E195s on charter flights to Dubai and points in Europe, Asia and Africa through its tour partner, Magellan.
Saratov Airlines traces its routes to agricultural flying 83 years ago and is one of the oldest airlines in Russia’s Middle and Lower Volga region. It joins a growing list of operators in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that have added E-Jets to their fleets: Air Astana, Air Lituanica, Air Moldova, Azerbaijan Airlines, Belavia, Bulgaria Air, Estonian Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Montenegro Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines. Combined, these airlines fly 66 E-Jets.