OREANDA-NEWS. In line with the UTair Aviation programme for fleet optimization, the airline has transferred all fifteen of its ATR 72-500 aircraft manufactured between 2011 and 2012 to its subsidiary airline UTair-Express.

The advanced ATR 72-500 aircraft are used in flight operations on popular routes with limited passenger turnover such as Moscow - Voronezh, Moscow - Tambov, Moscow - Kursk, Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow - Ulyanovsk, Surgut - Tyumen, Surgut - Yekaterinburg, Surgut - Novosibirsk and others. On April 1, 2014 UTair-Express launched operations between Moscow and Vilnius, the airline's first international route.

The transfer of new aircraft has contributed to the increase in UTair-Express passenger turnover in the first two months of 2014, representing a 61.1% growth over the same period last year.

The ATR 72-500 is a modern twin-engine turboprop passenger aircraft designed for medium-haul flights and is produced by the French-Italian Group ATR. The aircraft can accommodate up to 74 passengers and has a flight range up to 1,650 km.

In 2014 UTair-Express will also receive six Sukhoi Superjet 100 LR aircraft manufactured by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, which will significantly expand airline's operational capabilities.

In addition to the six Sukhoi Superjet 100 expected to join the UTair Group fleet in 2014, the Group expects the delivery of 16 new Airbus A321 and Boeing 737-800/900 aircraft directly from the facilities of the aircraft manufacturers.

UTair Aviation ranks among the top three Russian airlines. In 2013 UTair Aviation aircraft transported 9,625,295 passengers and the combined UTair Group fleet transported 10,413,803 passengers. UTair Aviation operates more than 150 fixed wing aircraft and performs flights to 110 destinations in Russia and abroad. The airline maintains its central hub at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, from which it performs more than 100 flights daily.

UTair-Express isone of the major regional air operators in Russia with a fleet consisting of three Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft, 13 Аn-24 aircraft, 15 ATR 72-500 aircraft and one АН-26 aircraft.