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February 26, 2024
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Continuing our fleet review series, today we look at Aeroflot.  The company has gone through various iterations, lie so many others.  Its roots go back to 1923.  During the Soviet era, this was the world’s largest airline.  Offering flights across the Soviet Union and abroad. Its domestic service had very low fares and huge traffic.  In 1966 it carried over 47m passengers.  It was the first airline to use jets in regular service in 1956. It was also the first airline to operate a regional jet in 1968 (Yak-40).

But the post-Soviet era came with big shocks as Russia, the CIS and, consequently, Aeroflot had to adjust.The impact of this adjustment can be seen in the first chart.  Although the fleet had been declining steadily since 2000, 2008 was the real shock.  However, as a state enterprise, the company started to grow again.  Many of its parts in the CIS were broken off into new airlines – and many of those went on to fail as they no longer had state backing.   Note also that after the 2008 shock, leasing became much more popular.  Lessors were able to supply the airline with modern, state of art, aircraft quickly.  With state backing, there was little fear of default.