The airline Severstal, owned by the same-name steel and mining company, expects to get bigger aircraft by the summer of 2019. In 2017 this airline carried 241,000 passengers which is 9% more than the previous year. It operates regular flights with a fleet of 50 Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft.

A senior manager at the airline said “By the summer of 2019, we hope to get bigger aircraft”. According to him, their CRJ 200 aircraft based at Cherepovets Airport had an average passenger load factor of 63.1% in 2017 which was 16.1% more than in 2016. And the airline would like to develop further.

Severstal has not yet decided which type of aircraft to purchase as part of its expansion plan. Among the options being considered are Bombardier's larger capacity aircraft (for example, CRJ 700/900), Embraer and Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft manufactured by UAC.

"The choice of new aircraft will take into account Cherepovets Airport (which, operated by the Severstal air company, handled 65,200 passengers in the first half of 2017) and the northwestern region as a whole,” said the senior manager. “We will proceed carefully with our development plans. We intend to become the leading carrier in the North-West Federal District."

In January 2018, Severstal carried 16,600 passengers, an increase of 4.3% compared with January 2017. At the same time, the passenger turnover of the carrier increased by almost 52%, from 9,100,000 to 13,900,000 passenger-kilometres. The passenger seat occupancy rate increased by 17.3% to 55.1%. The average distance flown by a Severstal passenger in January 2018 was 836 km, 262 km more than in the first month of last year.

In addition to the six CRJ 200, the Severstal fleet includes one Yak-40 (mainly used for flights from Cherepovets to Veliky Ustyug) and one Bombardier Challenger 300 business jet.

At the beginning of the year, the airline’s scheduled destinations included Cherepovets and Veliky Ustyug airports, the two Moscow airports (Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo), Pulkovo, Minvody, Murmansk, Apatity, Ukhta and Kaliningrad. In addition, in the tourist high season, the airlines has some international flights.