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UTair Aviation: Russia's number three airline returns to growth in 2016. Fleet upgrade needed

The UTair Aviation Group includes both a rotary wing (helicopter) division and a fixed wing (passenger airline) division. UTair's strategic goals for its passenger transportation division include maintaining third position and a market share of at least 10% in the domestic market; and a fleet modernisation programme through the purchase of new short and medium haul aircraft.

The passenger airline UTair Aviation achieved a 19% increase in passenger numbers in the first 11 months of 2016, after a period of capacity and traffic reduction and financial restructuring. The airline carried 5.5 million passengers in 2015, making it Russia's third biggest airline after Aeroflot and S7 Airlines, while the group carried 8.8 million passengers. UTair has orders to replace a significant proportion of its ageing fleet of aircraft (average age 19 years), but delivery dates are currently fluid.

Moscow Vnukovo is UTair's biggest airport, from where it serves mainly the domestic market. It is the biggest single airline by seats at Vnukovo, but it is outranked by the combined capacity of the Aeroflot Group's three airlines at the airport, Aeroflot, Pobeda and Rossiya. It also faces competition from Aeroflot and/or Pobeda on almost all of its biggest routes from Moscow.

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