Aurora will set up its own aircraft maintenance base in the Sakhalin region. At a recent meeting in Moscow, the governor of the Sakhalin region, Oleg Kozhemyako, and the general director of the public joint-stock company Aeroflot, Vitaly Saveliev, agreed that a feasibility study should be done and a project plan developed soon.
Aurora, established in 2013, provides passenger and cargo transportation on intraregional, interregional and international routes. The shareholders of the airline are PJSC Aeroflot (51%) and the government of the Sakhalin region (49%). The general director of Aurora, Konstantin Sukhorebryk, who also took part in the meeting, reported on the company results. In particular, in 2017 the volume of passenger traffic on interregional routes grew by 56.3 percent.
Thanks to the shareholders, in 2016-2017 the airline added five DHC-8-400 aircraft to its fleet, each with a capacity of up to 75 people. It is assumed that the number of aircraft based at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport will increase. In 2017, shareholders decided to purchase two more aircraft with capacity for 19 passengers each which will fly to Paramushir and Shikotan. Currently, air communication with these islands is only offered by helicopter since there are no airstrips with hard paved runways. The new aircraft must be capable of short take-off and landing with rough surface landing gear and wheel-skis. According to the experts, both the Czech L-410 and the Canadian DHC-6 meet these requirements. The final decision on the choice of aircraft is scheduled for February.
Meanwhile, there no proper facilities for routine aircraft maintenance at the main regional airport. All maintenance is done directly out in the open air. Often work has to be postponed due to adverse weather conditions. After reviewing this problem, the shareholders approved the proper procedures for the construction of an aircraft maintenance base, reported by IA Sakh.com with reference to the governor's press service.
“The opening of such a facility at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport will greatly benefit the inhabitants of this island region”, said Oleg Kozhemyako. “The costs of aircraft maintenance will be approximately halved”.