Transaero (russian: Трансаэро), officially ''OJSC Transaero Airlines'' (russian: ОАО «АК „ТРАНСАЭРО“», Открытое акционерное общество «Авиационная компания „ТРАНСАЭРО“») was a Russia
that operated scheduled and charter flights to over 150 domestic and international destinations. Transaero's main hubs were Moscow Vnukovo Airport
and Saint Petersburg Airport
with further bases throughout Russia. For much of its history the head office was at Domodedovo International Airport
, and towards the end its head office was in Saint Petersburg
Transaero filed for bankruptcy on 1 October 2015, and announced that it would cease all operations by 15 December 2015. However, Russian authorities revoked its operating license on 25 October 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–Alykel AirportNorilsk
flight in January 1993 followed by Kiev
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 it established in 1995. It was also the first Russian airline with a Federal Aviation Administration
aircraft maintenance certificate, which it obtained in 1997. In December 1998 a weekly service between Moscow and London Gatwick
commenced. 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. 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
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
. The service to Toronto was temporarily suspended in September 2008, but was later restored, whereas the service to Montreal was cancelled in 2009.
It was reported in 2007 that Transaero negotiated a deal with Continental Airlines
to purchase 10 of the Boeing 737-500
aircraft still in Continental's fleet. In November 2007 the airline announced a new scheduled bi-weekly service between Moscow and Sydney
via Hong Kong
, using Boeing 767-300 aircraft; commencing 24 December 2007, although the route was later terminated. Transaero also started to replace all of its Boeing 747-200s with used Boeing 747-400
s at the end of 2007.
Late 2000s and early 2010s
and Transaero Airlines began code-sharing on Vienna
-Moscow flights in October 2009.
In April 2010, Transaero arranged to lease 9 ex-Japan Airlines
Boeing 747-400s which entered the fleet in 2010–2012. In December 2010, Transaero announced that they would increase their deal to 12 Boeing 747-400s.
In October 2010, Transaero launched flights to Beijing
and New York City
. 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 four Boeing 777-300
aircraft previously owned by Singapore Airlines
Also in 2011, Transaero agreed to buy four of Boeing's newest widebody, the Boeing 747-8
, and put in a memorandum of understanding
for 4 Airbus A380
s. Transaero also ordered 4 Boeing 787s on 26 December 2011,
confirming this order on 8 April 2012.
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. In 2014, Transaero began 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 during 2015 and to introduce the new livery and logo with upcoming Airbus A380
, Boeing 747-8
, and Sukhoi Superjet 100
Final years and demise
By March 2015, Transaero had accumulated around 1.1 billion euros (approximately 77 billion rubles) of debt.
In May 2015 Transaero announced the expected receipt of its first two Airbus A380-800
s and one Boeing 747-8
later in the year. The A380s were intended to operate from Moscow to New York and Vladivostok.
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. 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."
Transaero announced the transfer of all operations at Moscow-Domodedovo
to their other main hub at Moscow-Vnukovo
to unify Moscow operations by 25 October 2015. This would not happen because of Transaero's closure.
In September 2015, Aeroflot
agreed to acquire 75% of the highly indebted Transaero Airlines for the symbolic price of one rouble. However, by 2 October 2015, Aeroflot dropped the offer, stating that no agreement with Transaero and its shareholders had been reached by the deadline. The same day, with the debt having swollen to 3.9 billion euros (260 billion rubles) Transaero announced it intended to end all operations on 15 December 2015 as it faced imminent bankruptcy
. Soon afterwards, Aeroflot announced the takeover of 34 of Transaero's leased aircraft, of which 20 are long-haul models. Subsequent to this announcement, Transaero ceased all ticket sales and refunded travel booked for after the shutdown date,
[transaero.ru - Information for passengers-holders of Transaero Airlines’ tickets](_blank)
retrieved 4 October 2015
and began to drastically reduce its schedule, cancelling or suspending flights on a daily basis and operating only a provisional schedule.
On 20 October 2015, competitor S7 Airlines
announced an interest to buy a 50 percent stake in the bankrupt airline. After this sale fell through, on 24 October 2015 Russian authorities announced that Transaero's air operating certificate would be revoked within 48 hours (as the summer schedule concluded) and began to allocate Transaero's former traffic rights to other airlines, stating that Transaero's enormous debt meant that its continued operation would pose an imminent hazard to the flying public.
[ch-aviation.com - Rosaviatsia to revoke Transaero's AOC](_blank)
21 October 2015
Prior to the shutdown, Transaero began to ferry its remaining fleet to Teruel
in Spain. Among those are six of its nine long-range Boeing 747s and almost half its fleet of medium-range Boeing 737s. The final Transaero flight, Flight 160, flown by a Boeing 767-200ER
, operated from Sokol Airport
near Magadan in eastern Russia to Moscow-Vnukovo
, landing on 25 October 2015 at 11:54 UTC
In 2017 the United States Air Force
entered into a contract with Boeing
to purchase two undelivered Boeing 747-8
s ordered by Transaero. The pair of planes have registration numbers N894BA and N895BA. The Air Force and Secret Service
will retrofit these new aircraft with telecommunications and security equipment to bring them to the required security level of the presidential aircraft.
In its 25-year history, Transaero never had an accident resulting in loss of life or a hull loss
. In 2014, JACDEC ranked Transaero as the 17th safest airline in the world and the safest airline in Russia.
Its head office was in Saint Petersburg
As of 2009 its head office was on the property of Domodedovo International Airport
, Moscow Oblast
Transaero was owned primarily by Aleksandr Pleshakov and his wife Olga Pleshakova, who was the CEO of the airline for most of its existence. Aleksandr's mother Tatiana Anodina
has been the head of the Interstate Aviation Committee
, the aviation oversight body in CIS
, since 1991. Aleksandr's father is Piotr Pleshakov - a Soviet military engineer, who was the Soviet Union's ''Minister of Radioelectronic Industry'' from 1974 till 1987. There was press speculation regarding Anodina's conflict of interest
in certifying aircraft with respect to Transaero's market position.
Transaero established a maintenance company, Transaero Engineering Ireland, based at Shannon Airport
, Ireland as a result of its purchase of the Air Atlanta aircraft maintenance operation. In addition to maintaining its own aircraft, Transaero Engineering also performed 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
, BBAM LLC
, FLY Leasing
, Macquarie AirFinance
, and SMBC
On 5 January 2015, the company entered examinership after the airline failed to pay its maintenance bill (approx €2.4m) for the year 2014.
The company, Transaero Engineering Ireland, was renamed Atlantic Aviation Group after Patrick Jordan, the former COO of Siteserv
acquired the business out of examinership in a transaction reportedly valued at €2.5 million.
Prior to the closure of the airline, Transaero maintained codeshare agreement
s with the following airlines:
Fleet before shutdown
Just prior to Transaero's shutdown in 2015, its fleet consisted of the following aircraft and planned orders: