Irkutsk - Five An-148 remaining in the Saratov Airlines fleet after the crash of this type of liner near Moscow in February could be taken over by the Siberian Angara airline, several sources in the aviation market told Interfax news agency.
Saratov Airlines operated the An-148s from 2016 under a sublease agreement with the Rossiya, which is part of the Aeroflot group. Rossiya acquired them with financial leasing in 2009-2010 under the contract with Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC). In 2016, all six aircraft were taken over by Saratov Airlines with a sublease contract.
After the crash in February this year, which killed 71 people on board, Rosaviatsiyai the Russian civil aviation authority, grounded Saratov Airlines' all remaining An-148s and then canceled the company's operator certificate.
After that, Rossiya and IFC began to look for a new tenant for the five An-148. The new operator will most likely be the Irkutsk-based Siberian airline Angara according to Interfax. After Saratov left the market, Angara remained the only commercial operator of AN-148 in Russia.
Produced by the Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov, An-148 is a regional jet with a capacity of up to 85 passengers.