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Transaero Airlines, Russia’s second largest airline, signed a MoU with Airbus for four A380s.  Transaero is the launch customer for the A380 in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. The Russian carrier plans to start operations with the A380 on its long-range network of high density routes from Moscow. The aircraft will feature a three class cabin layout, seating ~700. Transaero has yet to announce an engine selection.

”Transaero is experienced in operating long-range wide-body aircraft, and is now ready to offer the A380. I am sure that the operation of this high capacity aircraft will stimulate the development of Russia’s aviation sector, in particular airports infrastructure while passengers will benefit from a completely new experience.” said Olga Pleshakova, Transaero Airlines CEO.  Transaero Airlines launched its services in November 1991, and currently serves more than 130 routes all over the world.

When the A380 was first announced as the A3XX, many industry followers questioned the logic. After all, the world was moving towards more frequent point to point service, and looking for hub busters like the 787. The talk was also that every 747-8 sale was going to upset Airbus’ A380 program breakeven.  Turns out there is a market for both the 787 and the A380.  Every A380 sale means one less 747-8 sale – and it looks like Airbus could reach its VLA program (admittedly re-defined) breakeven before Boeing does. Transaero is a 747 operator and the A380 selection means this is a switch to Airbus’ product and vision.

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