Red Wings Airlines

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Red Wings Airlines
Red Wings Logo Transparent.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1999; 19 years ago (1999)
Hubs Moscow-Domodedovo
Focus cities
Fleet size 12
Destinations 20
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people Sergei Kuznetsov, Evgeny Klyucharev (CEO)

Red Wings Airlines is an airline based in Vnukovo Airport, Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow, Russia.[2][3] The airline provides both scheduled passenger and cargo charter services.

The airline ceased operation in February 2013, when its license was revoked because of safety and maintenance issues. The license was reinstated in June 2013.[4]


Red Wings was founded in 1999 under the name VARZ-400, after the Russian acronym of the Vnukovo Avia Repair Factory. It was renamed Airlines 400 in 2001, before adopting its current name in 2007.

Airline 400 Tupolev Tu-154.
Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204-100B

The airline was owned by Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev, who wanted to create a discount airline using modern Russian Tupolev Tu-204-100B 210-passenger twin-jet airliners, both new-built and used. The company had a fleet of ten Tu-204-100Bs (an eleventh Tu-204 was written off after crashing at Moscow Vnukovo on 29 December 2012), and had also sought to acquire Airbus A320s and possibly Airbus A321s to complement its Tu-204 fleet.[5]

Lebedev also owned 49% of German charter airline Blue Wings, which was to become Red Wings's sister company. However, on 13 January 2010, Blue Wings ceased all operations and filed for bankruptcy, citing the global financial crisis for a pull-out of investors.[6]

After the December, 2012 Red Wings Flight 9268 crash in Vnukovo, Russian aviation authorities initiated an emergency check of airline operational activities and fleet maintenance, resulting in the revocation of the carrier's AOC effective on 4 February 2013. The airline had ceased all operations the day before and owner Alexander Lebedev announced that no return to operation was planned.[7]

On 4 April 2013 NRC sold Red Wings Airlines Group "Guta" for a symbolic 1 ruble (in this case leased aircraft remained with the lessor - NRC-owned company "Ilyushin Finance"). The new owners of Red Wings plan to increase the fleet of 10-15 aircraft. The airline is going to buy only Russian aircraft. On 25 April 2013 it was announced that the airline Red Wings, was now headed by Sergey Belov, previously CEO of the airline "Russia." On 18 June 2013 the Federal Air Transport Agency renewed the certificate of the operator Red Wings to perform commercial transportation of passengers and cargo. On 22 June the airline resumed charter flights, and on 12 July 2013 scheduled flights from Moscow.

Merger with Nordavia[edit]

To increase business power, Red Wings and Nordavia decided to merge. The process already began, alas the date when the airlines will fully merged, and will they be separate or work under one airline, is still a question. This plan also caused Airbus A320, which initially was ordered for Nordavia, to be delivered by Red Wings. The new brand name will be known, after finishing the merger procedure.[8]


Red Wings Tupolev Tu-204 taking off

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Currently Red Wings Airlines has only one codeshare agreement


Red Wings Airlines Airbus A320
Red Wings Airlines Sukhoi Superjet 100

The Red Wings fleet comprises the following aircraft as of August 2017:[9][10]

Red Wings Airlines fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A320-200 4 180 180
Airbus A321-200 2 1 due 220 220 1 due from BH Air
Irkut MC-21-300 16[11][12] TBA Delivery starts from 2019
Will replace Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321 and Tupolev Tu-204
Tupolev Tu-204-100 6 208 208
210 210
Total 12 16

Retired Fleet[edit]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Tupolev TU-204-100В (RA-64047), which was lost in the accident in Vnukovo International Airport.

On 29 December 2012 at 16:35 local time (12:35 GMT), Red Wings Airlines Flight 9268, a Tupolev TU-204-100В (Registration: RA-64047, c/n: 1450743164047, s/n: 047, built: 2008) crashed on landing after overrunning runway 19 at Moscow Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) following a non-revenue repositioning flight originating from Pardubice Airport, Czech Republic. The aircraft broke up and came to a stop on elevated highway M3 about 400 meters/1,200 feet past the runway’s end. There were eight crew members on board of whom five were killed and the other three seriously injured.[13][14] The fatal Vnukovo accident was the second runway overrun incident involving a Red Wings operated TU-204-100B in nine days following a Moscow Vnukovo to Novosibirsk flight on 20 December 2012 that overran runway 25 at Tolmachevo Airport by 1,150 feet (350 meters) into an open field.[15] Initial flight data recorder readouts indicate that brake failure as well as engine thrust reverser issues were major contributing causes in both overruns resulting in the issuance of additional airworthiness directives.[16][17][18][19] Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) later determined that, as in the precursor non-fatal overrun incident in Novosibirsk, the fatal Moscow accident was caused by a failure of the compression switches in two of the three landing gear assemblies to close on touchdown thus causing the engine thrust reverser shells to fail to deploy.[20]


  1. ^ Marie-Pierre Balcaen, EUROCONTROL DAP/DIA. "Eurocontrol, Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services". Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Контакты Archived 8 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.." Red Wings Airlines. Retrieved on 7 January 2012. "Юридический адрес: 119027, г. Москва, Заводское шоссе, д. 19"
  3. ^ Home page. Red Wings Airlines (Airlines 400). 29 June 2007. Retrieved on 31 December 2012. "A400, Россия, 119027, Москва, Заводское шоссе 19,"
  4. ^ " Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine."
  5. ^ "Red Wings considers A321s as suitable A320s prove elusive", Flight International, Retrieved 24 August 2008
  6. ^ "Blue Wings stellt Flugbetrieb ein" (in German). Flugrevue. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "ВЕДОМОСТИ - Росавиация приостановила действие сертификата эксплуатанта Red Wings". Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Авиакомпании Red Wings и "Нордавиа" объединятся". 16 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part Two)". Airliner World (November 2017): 30. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "MAKS: Red Wings signs for Russian jets and Q400s". 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-09-02. 
  12. ^ "Irkut MC-21 gets new orders at MAKS Air Show". 18 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 204-100V RA-64047 Moskva-Vnukovo Airport (VKO)". Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Agencies (29 December 2012). "Russian passenger jet crashes at Moscow's Vnukovo airport". Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident 20-DEC-2012 Tupolev Tu-204-100V RA-64049". 20 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Hradecky, Simon "Accident: Red Wings T204 at Moscow on Dec 29th 2012, overran runway on landing" The Aviation Herald, 29 December 2012. (updated 31 December 2012).
  17. ^ Hradecky, Simon "Incident: Red Wings T204 at Novosibirsk on Dec 20th 2012, runway excursion on landing" The Aviation Herald 20 December 2012 (updated 30 December 2012)
  18. ^ Bad brakes cited in Moscow crash landing Agence France-Presse (via 30 December 2012
  19. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David "Tu-204 directive warns pilots to check thrust-reverse status", 2 January 2013
  20. ^ "Tu-204 Red Wings crash in Vnukovo was caused by reverse failure - Interstate Aviation Committee" Russia Beyond the Headlines ( 24 January 2013

External links[edit]