Aurora (airline)

Aurora (Russian: Аврора, Avrora) is a Russian Far East air carrier, subsidiary of Aeroflot. It is named after the Russian cruiser Aurora. As of August 2016, the carrier ranks among the top ten Russian biggest airlines in terms of carried passengers. Its head office is in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin.

Aurora was created by order of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Aurora was named Taiga Airline for a short period of time. Aeroflot formed the carrier by amalgamating SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia, which served 42 and 15 destinations respectively, and had a combined fleet of 24 aircraft plus 11 helicopters. These two carriers were expected to cease operations in early 2014. The number of routes served was planned to grow from 30 to 128, including the main cities of the Russian Far East, such as Khabarovsk, Magadan, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Aurora is 51%-owned by Aeroflot, with the regional government of Sakhalin holding the balance. An initial investment of RUB 430 million (USD 13.5 million) was provided by the parent company through a loan that should be repaid in 2017. The airline carried 1,125 million passengers in 2015, a 7.1% increase year-on-year (YOY). During the first half of 2016 Aurora carried 607,040 passengers, a 19.9% increase YOY.

Aurora started operations on 8 December 2013 (2013-12-08) serving the Khabarovsk–Krasnoyarsk route. As of April 2015, Aurora flies internationally from its three bases located in Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Vladivostok. The international network includes Beijing, Busan, Harbin, Hong Kong, Sapporo, Seoul, and Tokyo.

The new carrier’s first aircraft was an Airbus A319, wearing a new livery. In December 2015 (2015-12), the airline received the first of three Bombardier Q400 aircraft it has on order. Aurora aims to have a 40-aircraft fleet by 2018, nearly doubling its current size.

As of May 2016, Aurora operates the following aircraft: