In recent days Aeroflot, Russia’s flag carrier, has requested permission for the leaseback of 3 A350 airliners which are due to arrive in 2020. The decision comes after a board members meeting. Sale-and-leaseback, or simply 'leaseback' of an aircraft is a financial transaction in which an airline (in this case Aeroflot) sells their aircraft to a third-party company which then leases the planes back to the airline.
Aeroflot placed an order for 14 state-of-the-art Airbus A350 XWB in 2007 to use on long haul operations. The aircraft is to be configured with 3 classes comprising 28 Business Class seats with direct aisle access, 24 Premium Economy seats with a 2-2-2 configuration and finally 264 Economy Class seats with a 3-3-3 layout.
Aeroflot initially expected its first A350 to arrive in 2018, but poor financial figures pushed the delivery date to early 2020. To begin with the A350 will operate on shorter domestic routes for crew familiarization. Aeroflot hasn’t disclosed on which domestic routes they are going to operate the A350 on. However, the airline has revealed that the first long-haul route of the A350 is going to be from Moscow to New York which will start on March 29, 2020. Other routes include Moscow to Beijing starting May 1, 2020 in addition to Moscow to Seoul and Miami effective early June, 2020.
Aeroflot is the flag carrier of Russia which commenced operations in 1923. In 2018 airline carried 35.8 million passengers. The carrier operates a wide variety of aircraft including Boeing 737s and 777s, Airbus A320s and A330s and Sukhoi Superjet 100s and 95s. The Russian flag carrier hopes to incorporate more Russian-made aircraft into its fleet with its order for 100 Superjets and 50 Irkut MC-21-300s.