Monday, 10 November 2014 16:29

Ulan-Ude and Ulaanbaatar flights might resume

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Ulan-Ude-Ulaanbaatar-flight-PANHRegular flights between Russian city of Ulan-Ude and Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar might be resumed soon. Announcement of a such possibility was announced by the Head of Russian Buryat Repulic's - Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn during the official visit of Mongolian members of parliament to the republic in August 2014.

Previously, a Mongolian regional airline - EZNis Airways conducted regular flights between two cities prior to halt in autumn of 2012. The Mongolian airline left the market due to low passenger load factor despite technical assistance by Russian side such as discounted maintenance at Baikal Airport and helping to open a local branch. A year later, then newly established "Hunnu Air", formerly known as Mongolian Airlines Group (not to be confused with national Mongolian airline) made few charter flights with its Fokker-50.

In comparison to EZNis Airways, which unexpectedly suspended all of its operation in May 2014 and used to operate 34-seat Saab-340 aircraft for its flights to Ulan-Ude, a Russian appointed regional airline - PANH will utilize a smaller  Let L-410UVP-E20 aircraft with maximum 19 seats, which it received in April 2014. This, according to Mr.Nagovitsyn, will help to keep the passenger load factor at full.

Despite planned flights resuming in September, there has been no regular flights resumed to date. According to PANH Director General - Konstantin Osin, the airline is interested in fast-tracking the process. In order to launch flights, the company must coordinate with Eastern Siberian Authority of Civil Aviation and Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya).

Although the company proudly announced its willingness and capability to conduct regular flights between Ulan-Ude and Ulaanbaatar, it was quite cautious with regard to the profitability. Mr. Konstantin said "It's hard to say that the route will be highly profitable, we aim to keep our fares competitive with ground transportation, which is, of course, hard to do". "We will try to steadily grow the passenger traffic and it is normal practice to start flying with minimum tarrifs" he added.

PANH is an airline based in Ulan-Ude, Russia. It operates trunk and regional passenger services with three Cessna-208, twelve Antonov AN-2 and two L-410 aircraft. Its main base is Ulan-Ude Airport and a daughter company of Bural.