Ilyushin Il-86 will fly again with S7 Airlines
Russia is currently battling a blockade imposed as a result of their war with Ukraine. Part of this blockade has affected the Russian aviation industry tremendously.The big western airplane manufacturers have decided that they will not sell airplanes or parts to Russia while the conflict continues. This means that the Russian aviation market will have to get creative if they want to continue flying.
As a result of this S7 Airlines has announced that it will bring back a couple of Cold War jetliners to active service. According to reports, S7 will place back in service two Ilyushin Il-96s and three Il-86s that are currently configured for cargo operations, but will very soon be converted back to transport passengers.
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According to Interfax, during a Federation Council Committee meeting regarding matters of economic policy, Russian Transportation Minister Vitaly Savelyev is quoted as saying, “S7 will take five aircraft, Two Il-96 cargo planes and three Il-86 cargo planes. It will adapt them, and we will fly”.
The Ilyushin Il-86 first entered service in 1980 , there were 106 of them built and the production ended in 1991. It can carry up to 350 passengers in a 3-3-3 configuration. The airline saw widespread use with Aeroflot who inaugurated its service with the route Moscow – Tashkent.
The Airline traditionally saw service in Russia with a few exceptions, including Armenian Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways. S7 is the rebranded new version of Siberia Airlines which was formed 1992 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Nowadays it has a fleet of 105 Boeing, Embraer and Airbus aircraft, with bases at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow and Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibrisk.
It will be beyond interesting to see if S7 will give the old, Cold War era jets its characteristic lime green livery and the routes they will place them in. On March 4th, S7 announced that it was ceasing international flying altogether.