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IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 28 December 1990
Commenced operations 5 November 1991
Ceased operations 26 October 2015
Secondary hubs
Frequent-flyer program Transaero Privilege Program
Airport lounge Business Class Lounge
Fleet size 97
Destinations 156
Headquarters Saint Petersburg, Russia
Key people Olga Pleshakova, CEO[1]

Transaero (Russian: Трансаэро), officially OJSC Transaero Airlines (Russian: ОАО «АК «ТРАНСАЭРО», Открытое акционерное общество "Авиационная компания "ТРАНСАЭРО"), was a Russian airline with its head office in Saint Petersburg. It operated scheduled and charter flights to over 150 domestic and international destinations. Its main hubs were Moscow-Vnukovo and Saint Petersburg with further bases throughout Russia.

Transaero filed for bankruptcy on 1 October 2015, and announced that it would cease all operations by 15 December 2015.[2] However, Russian authorities revoked its operational license on 26 October 2015.[3]


  • History 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Late 2000s and early 2010s 1.2
    • Bankruptcy, insolvency, and shutdown 1.3
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Management 2.1
    • Maintenance operations 2.2
  • Destinations 3
    • Codeshare agreements 3.1
  • Fleet 4
    • Final roster 4.1
    • Historic fleet 4.2
  • Cabin 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Early years

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]

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.

Late 2000s and early 2010s

If Transaero had survived beyond 2015, this would have been its new logo. This new logo had been applied to some aircraft prior to Transaero's closure.

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]

Bankruptcy, insolvency, and shutdown

By March 2015, Transaero had accumulated around 1.1 billion euros (approximately 77 billion rubles) 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]

Transaero had announced to relocate their entire operations at Moscow-Domodedovo to their other main hub at Moscow-Vnukovo to concentrate on one base for the Moscow region by 25 October 2015.[23] 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.[24] However, by 2 October 2015, Aeroflot dropped the offer, stating that no agreement with Transaero and its shareholders had been reached by the deadline.[25] The same day, with the debt having swelled to 3.9 billion euros (260 billion rubles)[26] Transaero announced it intended to end all operations on 15 December 2015[27][28] as it faced imminent bankruptcy.[29] Aeroflot announced shortly after to take over 34 leased aircraft, of which 20 are long-haul models, from Transaero.[30] Subsequent with this announcement, Transaero also ceased all ticket sales and refunded travel booked for after the shutdown date.,[2] and Transaero began to drastically reduce its schedule, canceling or suspending flights on a daily basis and operating only a provisional schedule.[31][32]

On 20 October 2015, competitor S7 Airlines announced an interest to buy a 50 percent stake in the bankrupt airline.[33] After this sale fell through, however, 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.[3][34]

Prior to the shutdown, Transaero began ferrying its remaining fleet to Teruel in Spain. Among those are 6 of its 9 long range Boeing 747's and almost half its fleet of medium-range Boeing 737's.[35] 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 26 October 2015 at 11:54 UTC.[36]

Corporate affairs

At the time of the airline's closure its head office was in Saint Petersburg.[37]


Transaero was owned primarily by Aleksandr Pleshkov and his wife Olga Pleshkova, 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.[38][39] Aleksandr's father is Piotr Pleshakov - a Soviet military engineer, who was the Soviet Union's Minister of Radioelectronic Industry from 1974 till 1987.[40] There was press speculation regarding Anodina's conflict of interest in certifying aircraft with respect to Transaero's market position.[41][42]

Maintenance operations

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.[43] 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. On the 5th of January 2015 the company entered examinership after the airline failed to pay its maintenance bill (approx €2.4m) for the year 2014.[44][45]


Codeshare agreements

Prior to the closure of the airline, Transaero maintained codeshare agreements with the following airlines:


Final roster

Transaero's Airbus A321 in brand-new livery at Vnukovo International Airport.
Transaero Boeing 737-800
Transaero Boeing 747-400
Transaero Boeing 777-300
Transaero Tupolev Tu-214

Just prior to Transaero's shutdown, its fleet consisted of the following aircraft and planned orders:[50]

Historic fleet

Transaero's former Yakovlev Yak-40 operated for Yak Aircraft Corporation


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

Transaero's cabins differed greatly in amenities and layout from plane to plane, depending on which airline the aircraft was bought or leased from, 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 applied 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 featured 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.[64] The in-flight entertainment on international routes aboard the 747, and the 777-200ER, was either an integrated personal TV with 5-7 broadcast channels or AVOD Lumexis.

Premium Economy Class

Transaero's Premium Economy Class offered the same seat width as the Tourist Economy Class but a greater seat pitch of up to 36 inches[65] and enhanced recline features for a recline of 29 degrees(just over 7 inches). The Premium Economy Class seats on the 777-300 were 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 was available for free, with Lumexis AVOD on select Boeing 747-400s and all Boeing 777-300s. Passengers flying Premium Economy were also able to make use of a dedicated check-in desk at selected airports.[64]

Business/Premium Class

The Business Class offered passengers a wider seat than Economy along with additional legroom and deeper recline. Each seat had two armrests. In-Flight-Entertainment was free of charge and included a larger selection of music, movies and television. The cabins were located either in the upper deck on 747s or in the front part of the plane on all other types. The menus offeed more choices and better quality food than Economy. The inflight service was individual and a la carte with wide selection of free beverages, wells and wines. There were free taxi transfers from Moscow Airports on some international routes and some fare classes.[64]

Imperial Class

The Imperial Class was Transaero's First Class. The seats offered extra privacy and were the widest seats of all on the aircraft. The seat reclined fully flat to form a large bed for passengers and the food was either Russian or European. Complimentary taxi transfers were available for Imperial Class passengers.[64]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b - Information for passengers-holders of Transaero Airlines’ tickets retrieved 4 October 2015
  3. ^ a b - Rosaviatsia to revoke Transaero's AOC 21 October 2015
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  19. ^ - Lage von Transaero spitzt sich zu "Situation at Transaero gets worse" (German) 2 October 2015
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  23. ^ - Transaero will move all its Moscow flights to Vnukovo airport from October 25 retrieved 17 October 2015
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  29. ^ - Transaero to file for bankruptcy shortly? 2 October 2015
  30. ^ - "Aeroflot cancels Dreamliner" (German) 15 October 2015
  31. ^ - "Transaero suspends Vienna flights" (German) 13 October 2015
  32. ^ - Information for Transaero passengers with tickets for 17 October 2015 17 October 2015
  33. ^ - S7 Airlines CEO Filev signs LOI to buy 51+% of Transaero 20 October 2015
  34. ^ - Moscow begins reallocating Transaero's route permissions 24 October 2015
  35. ^
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  37. ^ Contact us. Transaero Airlines. Retrieved on 21 June 2010. "JSC "Transaero Airlines", Russia, St Petersburg,Liteyny prospect, 48A." – "Связь с нами." – Address in Russian: "Россия, С.Петербург Литейный пр-т, 48 «А», ОАО «АК «Трансаэро»"
  38. ^ Kuznetsova, Elizaveta (Елизавета Кузнецова). ""Аэрофлот" не прошел регистрацию на рейс (Russian)." Kommersant. No. 18 (5049). 1 February 2013. Retrieved on 19 April 2013. "Участники отрасли и эксперты полагают, что проблемы возникли из-за нерасторопности комитета, который возглавляет Татьяна Анодина — мать Александра Плешакова, совладельца "Трансаэро", основного конкурента "Аэрофлота"."
  39. ^ Kryukov, Dimitri (Дмитрий Крюков). "Запасной аэродром." (Russian). Kommersant. No. 18 (5049). 1 February 2013. Retrieved on 19 April 2013. "Последняя — единственная частная компания в шорт-листе. Свыше 80% ее контролирует семья Плешаковых в лице Ольги, ее мужа Александра и свекрови Татьяны Анодиной — одной из самых влиятельных фигур российской авиации. Анодина является бессменным председателем Межгосударственного авиационного комитета (МАК), ответственного за сертификацию самолетов на территории СНГ."
  40. ^ Глава радиопрома СССР
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  64. ^ a b c d "From Russia With Love — Transaero Airlines" - Airliner World, March 2009
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External links

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