Fast approaching its 30th anniversary, Russian carrier S7 Airlines and its fleet might be best recognized for its bright green livery. Indeed, it joins South Africa’s Kulula.com as one of the few airlines that have chosen to entirely paint its aircraft this color. With over 100 aircraft operated by the carrier – what is S7’s fleet like in 2021? Let’s find out.
S7’s fleet is dominated by Airbus A320 family aircraft- although it’s not the only type being operated by the airline. Photo: Getty Images
The S7 fleet at a glance
Let’s first take a look at the composition of the airline’s fleet as a whole. The aircraft types are listed below with quantities in parentheses:
A319-100 (6)A320-200 (16)A320neo (29)A321-200 (8)A321neo (7)
Other aircraft types
Boeing 737 MAX 8 (2)Boeing 737-800 (20)*Embraer ERJ170 (17)
*This figure includes two 737-800BCF (Boeing converted freighters).
For the airline’s shorter and lower-demand services, S7 has chosen to operate the Embraer ERJ170. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr
n Airbus-dominant fleet
When looking at S7’s numbers, the main aspect that becomes apparent is that it is dominated by Airbus A320 family aircraft of all sizes (except for the A318 “baby bus”). With 66 Airbus jets, this equates to 62% of the airline’s total fleet.
Among the newest aircraft in the S7 collection are jets from the NEO series, including the A320neo and A321neo. The former has an average fleet age of just 2.3 years, while the latter averages 1.8 years. On the other end, the airline’s A319-100s are some of the airline’s oldest jets with an average age of 16.5 years.
It was back in July of 2017 that S7 Airlines took delivery of its first A320neo, a lease from BOC Aviation. In a statement at the time, Airbus noted that it was the first Airbus to feature the airline’s new livery and was also the first NEO to be operated in Russia.
The majority of S7 aircraft are Airbus jets. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons
To fly or not to fly
Comprising 20% of the overall fleet, another major type operated by S7 Airlines is the Boeing 737, which subdivides into the 737-800 and 737 MAX 8.
When it comes to this part of S7’s fleet, the most intriguing part is the presence of two MAX aircraft. These 737 MAX 8s remain inactive due to Russian aviation authorities not yet recertifying the type to fly following the deadly 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019. While low-cost Russian carrier Pobeda caved in and canceled its 737 MAX orders this past August, S7 appears to be holding out, holding on to its two existing jets and keeping its order for another two.
Russia is among the last few countries that have yet to recertify the 737 MAX. This has had an impact on some of the country’s airlines that had ordered the type. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr
The website Russian Aviation noted in July that Boeing expected the 737 MAX to be recertified in Russia and China “in the coming months,” with some three months having passed since the report.
While authorities would never admit it, some would suspect that anti-US sentiment combined with an agenda to push Russia’s homegrown 737-alternative, the MC-21, is behind the country’s reluctance to recertify the MAX. With flight testing and certification ongoing, the first MC-21 is expected to be delivered in 2022. For its part, S7 does not have any MC-21 orders.
Where do you think S7’s fleet is headed? As its Boeing 737-800 and Embraer E170 fleets age out, could it move towards becoming an all-Airbus operator? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.
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