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Transaero logo (2015).svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1990
Ceased operations December 15 2015
Secondary hubs
Frequent-flyer program Transaero Privilege Program
Airport lounge Business Class Lounge
Fleet size 97
Destinations 156
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people Olga Pleshakova, CEO[1]

Transaero (Russian: Трансаэро), officially OJSC Transaero Airlines (Russian: ОАО «АК «ТРАНСАЭРО», Открытое акционерное общество "Авиационная компания "ТРАНСАЭРО"), is a Russian airline with its head office in Saint Petersburg.[2] It operates scheduled and charter flights to over 150 domestic and international destinations. Its main hubs are Moscow-Domodedovo and Saint Petersburg with further bases throughout Russia. It is scheduled to cease all operations on 15 December 2015 due to financial difficulties.[3]


Early years[edit]

Former Transaero Ilyushin Il-86
Former Transaero Airbus A310-300
Former Transaero McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in the mid 1990s. This example formerly flew for American Airlines and still wears their basic bare metal livery.[4]
Old logo used until 2015

Transaero began as a charter airline with aircraft leased from Aeroflot. It was incorporated as a joint stock company on 28 December 1990 and was the first private company approved for scheduled passenger services in the Soviet Union. Its first charter service was Moscow to Tel Aviv on 5 November 1991. In July 1992, Transaero received its own Ilyushin Il-86. It became the first privately owned airline to operate scheduled flights in Russia when it launched its Moscow–Norilsk flight in January 1993 followed by Kiev, Sochi and Almaty later the same year. Its first international scheduled route outside the former Soviet Union was from Moscow to Tel Aviv in November 1993.

In April 1993, Transaero started operating western-made aircraft when it received its first Boeing 737-200, followed by its first Boeing 757-200 in April 1994.

Transaero was also the first Russian airline with a frequent flyer program, which established in 1995. It was also the first Russian airline with an FAA aircraft maintenance certificate, which it obtained in 1997. In December 1998 a weekly service between Moscow and Gatwick Airport in London was started. Transaero operated its first Boeing 737-700 in 1998, followed by Boeing 767-200 and Boeing 737-300 in 2002 and Boeing 767-300 and Boeing 737-400 in 2003. An agreement was signed to purchase 10 Tupolev Tu-214-300 in the same year.[5] In 2005, Transaero became the first Russian passenger airline to operate the Boeing 747 when it started services on 11 July 2005 with a leased, ex-Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747-200 on scheduled services from Moscow to Tel Aviv. The aircraft would also operate summer charter flights to holiday destinations.

In May 2005, Transaero added a flight between Moscow and Montreal, marking the first time the airline flew to Canada. On 21 June 2006, Transaero also began operating nonstop flights between Moscow and Toronto.[6] The service to Toronto was temporarily suspended in September 2008, but has since been restored, whereas the service to Montreal has been cancelled as of 2009.

It was reported in 2007 that Transaero negotiated a deal with Continental Airlines to purchase 10 of their Boeing 737-500 aircraft still in their fleet.[7] In November 2007 the airline announced a new scheduled bi-weekly service between Moscow and Sydney, Australia via Hong Kong, commencing 24 December 2007. The flight was operated by Boeing 767-300 equipment. This route is was meanwhile terminated again. Transaero also started to replace all of its Boeing 747-200s with used Boeing 747-400s at the end of 2007.

Development since 2009[edit]

In October 2009 Austrian Airlines and Transaero Airlines have concluded a code-share agreement in Moscow on the routing Vienna to Moscow. Under the agreement Austrian Airlines put its code on Transaero's daily Moscow-Vienna flight, while Transaero put its code on one of the three daily Vienna-Moscow flights which are operated by Austrian.[8]

In April 2010, Transaero arranged to lease 9 ex-Japan Airlines Boeing 747-400s which entered the fleet in 2010–2012.[9] In December 2010, Transaero announced that they would increase their deal to 12 Boeing 747-400.[10] In October 2010, Transaero launched flights to Beijing, Miami and New York City.[11] This marked the return of Transaero to the United States since cancelling service to Los Angeles. Beijing became the second Chinese destination after Sanya.

In 2011, Transaero received 4 Boeing 777-300 aircraft previously owned by Singapore Airlines.[10] Also in 2011, Transaero agreed to buy 4 of Boeing's newest widebody, the Boeing 747-8,[12] and put in a memorandum of understanding for 4 Airbus A380s.[13] Transaero also ordered 4 Boeing 787s on 26 December 2011,[14] confirming this order on 8 April 2012.[15]

On 29 April 2012 Transaero resumed flights between Moscow and Los Angeles, utilizing a 777-200ER. In 2013 Transaero carried nearly 12.5 million people and operated 98 aircraft.[16] Since 2014, Transaero operates direct flights from Moscow to Miami with Boeing 747-400s.

Transaero hosted a competition for a new logo and livery for rebranding in 2013-2014, but did not discuss the procedure's timetable. In April 2015, the airline decided to rebrand this year and to introduce the new livery and logo with upcoming Airbus A380, Boeing 747-8 and Sukhoi Superjet 100.[17][18]

Financial crisis and bankruptcy[edit]

It has been reported that by March 2015, Transaero already accumulated around 1.1 billion Euros of debt.[19]

In May 2015 Transaero announced the expected receipt of their first two Airbus A380-800s and one Boeing 747-8 later in the year. The A380s were to operate from Moscow to New York and Vladivostok.[20] However, this was quickly followed by a report that Transaero asked Airbus to reschedule the delivery of the first A380 beyond 2015 due to financial difficulties.[21] At the IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in June 2015, the president of Airbus, Fabrice Brégier said “I’m sure we will meet the target to deliver the A380s to Transaero. The problem is that they are facing a difficult economic situation because of the rouble’s devaluation and a shrinking market for tourism from Russia.”[22]

In September 2015, Aeroflot agreed to acquire 75% of the higly debted Transaero Airlines for the symbolic price of one ruble.[23] However, by 2 October 2015, Aeroflot dropped the offer stating that no agreement with Transaero and its shareholders has been reached by the deadline.[24] The same day, Transaero announced to end all operations on 15 December 2015[25][26] as it faces imminent bankruptcy.[27] All ticket sales ceased on 1 October 2015 as well.[3]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Transaero is controlled by Olga and Aleksandr Pleshakov. Aleksandr's mother Tatiana Anodina has been the head of the Interstate Aviation Committee, the aviation oversight body in CIS, since 1991.[28][29] Aleksandr's father is Piotr Pleshakov - a Soviet military engineer, who was the Soviet Union's Minister of Radioelectronic Industry from 1974 till 1987.[30] There was press speculation regarding Anodina's conflict of interest in certifying aircraft with respect to Transaero's market position.[31][32]

Maintenance operations[edit]

Transaero established a new maintenance company based at Shannon Airport, Ireland as a result of its purchase of the Air Atlanta aircraft maintenance operation. The new company is called Transaero Engineering Ireland.[33] In addition to maintaining its own aircraft, Transaero Engineering also performs third-party maintenance work for other customers, including airlines Air Berlin, Arkia Israel Airlines, El Al, and the TUI Group family of airlines, and aircraft lessors AerCap, Aircastle, BBAM LLC, FLY Leasing, GECAS, ILFC, Macquarie AirFinance, and SMBC.[34][35]


Codeshare agreements[edit]

Transaero maintains codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of April 2015:


Current fleet[edit]

Transaero Boeing 737-800
Transaero Boeing 747-400
Transaero Boeing 777-300
Transaero Tupolev Tu-214

As of August 2015, the Transaero Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[40][41]

Transaero Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
F C W Y Total
Airbus A320neo 8[42] TBA should have replaced Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-400
Airbus A321-200 2 6[43] TBA
Airbus A330neo 12[44] TBA
Airbus A330ceo 8[44] TBA
Airbus A380-800 4[45] 12 24 616 652[46] Deliveries were planned from 2016[47] as a replacement for Boeing 747-400s
Boeing 737-300 3 8 42 72 122 planned to be phased out and replaced by Airbus A320neo
Boeing 737-400 5 8 60 72 140 planned to be phased out and replaced by Airbus A320neo
Boeing 737-500 14 8 42 51 101 3 equipped with winglets
Boeing 737-700 7 14 107 121
Boeing 737-800 18 10[48] 8 60 96 164 12 equipped with winglets. New livery introduced on EI-RUR[49]
Boeing 747-400 15 12 26 409 447 planned to be replaced by Airbus A380-800s and Boeing 747-8Is in 2015
10 12 439 461
12 510 522
Boeing 747-8I 4 TBA Deliveries were planned from 2015[20] as a replacement for Boeing 747-400s
Boeing 767-200ER 2 16 214 230
Boeing 767-300ER 16 10 117 106 235
26 98 92 216
Boeing 777-200 2 12 14 167 113 306
Boeing 777-200ER 7 12 14 167 113 306
Boeing 777-300 5 4 14 131 222 371
Sukhoi SSJ100[50] 6 TBA
Tupolev Tu-214 3 8 174 182
Irkut MS-21-300 6[51] TBA
Total 97 64

Retired fleet[edit]

Transaero's former Yakovlev Yak-40 operated for Yak Aircraft Corporation
Transaero Airlines Retired Fleet[52][53]
Aircraft Year retired Notes
Airbus A310-300 2001
Boeing 737-200 2001
Boeing 747-200[54] 2011
Boeing 747-300 2013
Boeing 757-200 1999
Boeing 767-300 1999 -ER Version continues to operate
Ilyushin Il-86 2004
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 1999
Yakovlev Yak-40 2002


Imperial Class on board a Transaero Boeing 777-300
Tourist Economy Class on board a Transaero Boeing 737-800

Transaero cabin amenities depend greatly on which airline the aircraft was bought or leased from. Transaero's cabins differ greatly in amenities and layout from plane to plane, ranging from poorly equipped cabins of older European/USA operators on 737s to quite decent set of features in aircraft leased or purchased from Singapore Airlines (Transaero had to install their own first class cabin, because SIA kept their first class seats). The description below applies only to the Boeing 777s which used to belong to Singapore Airlines. 777-300s and some 747-400 were retrofitted with the Fiber optics to the screen Lumexis AVOD system in all classes. Wi-Fi Internet connection and cellular services are available on select routes and planes, with the price tag varying from 400 RUR ($12 US) for an hour to 800 RUR ($24 US) for 24 hours.

Tourist Economy Class

Transaero's Tourist Economy Class features standard seat pitch (depends on aircraft but usually 31-32 inches), recline and width. The airline provides free food for Tourist passengers and an in-flight entertainment system is available for free on Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 777-300.[55] The in-flight entertainment on international routes aboard the 747, and the 777-200ER, is either an integrated personal TV with 5-7 broadcast channels or AVOD Lumexis.

Premium Economy Class

Transaero's Premium Economy Class offers the same seat width as the Tourist Economy Class but a greater seat pitch of up to 36 inches[56] and enhanced recline features for a recline of 29 degrees(just over 7 inches). The Premium Economy Class seats on the 777-300 are also distinguished by red seats instead of the blue seats in Tourist Economy Class. In addition to more seat pitch, recline and free food, Transaero also offers a larger baggage allowance for the Premium Economy class fares. The in-flight-entertainment system is available for free, with Lumexis AVOD on select Boeing 747-400s and all Boeing 777-300s. Passengers flying Premium Economy will also be able to make use of a dedicated check-in desk at selected airports.[55]

Business/Premium Class

The Business Class offers passengers a wider seat than Economy along with additional legroom and deeper recline. Each seat has two armrests and In-Flight-Entertainment is free of charge and includes a larger selection of music, movies and television. The cabins are located either in the upper deck on 747s or in the front part of the plane on all other types. The menus offer more choice, better quality food than Economy. The inflight service is individual and a la carte with wide selection of free beverages, wells and wines. There are free taxi transfers from Moscow Airports on some international routes and some fare classes.[55]

Imperial Class

The Imperial Class is Transaero's First Class. The seats offer extra privacy and are the widest seats of all on the aircraft. The seat reclines fully flat to form a large bed for passengers and the food on offer is either Russian or European. Complimentary taxi transfers are available for Imperial Class passengers.[55]


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External links[edit]

Media related to Transaero Airlines at Wikimedia Commons