Aeroflot begins to retire its Airbus A330s

Moscow, Russia - Russian flag carrier Aeroflot who makes the final arrangements for the arrival of the Airbus A350-900s, prepares to retire its older generation A330s.

The first three Airbus A330 aircraft will leave the Aeroflot's fleet this year. The first of three widebody jets aircraft with the registration VQ-BCQ flew to Hong Kong on September 30, where it will be checked for redelivery by the Chinese MRO provider HAECO.

The aircraft had been leased from the Irish lessor AerCap in 2009. It was particularly distinguished with its specific SkyTeam livery.

Aeroflot A330 VQ-BCQ with SkyTeam livery

The A330s joined the Russian fleet in 2006 to replace the 11 Boeing 767-300ERs that were configured to transport up to 218 passengers in a bi-class layout. The last Boeing 767-300ER left the Aeroflot’s fleet in 2015.

The arrival of the brand new A330s enabled the Russian national airline to expand its long-haul network to the Far East and Asia while increasing its seating capacity. The A330 was also the first airliner in the company history to be equipped with in-flight entertainment systems (IFE).

The Russian carrier plans to reduce its A330 fleet to 12 from 22 aircraft by the end of 2021. The aircraft will be the first widebody Airbus jet delivered to the airline since 2013.

Aeroflot expects to receive its first Airbus A350-900 at the beginning of 2020. The operator has a firm order for 15 A350-900. If finalized, this number will increase to 28.

Aeroflot's A350s will be configured in a three-class cabin layout to accommodate 316 passengers - 28 seats in Business, 24 in Premium Economy and 264 in Economy classes.