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Red Wings Airlines is an airline based in Moscow Domodedovo Airport, in Russia. The airline provides both scheduled passenger and cargo charter services.

Red Wings Airlines
Red Wings Logo Transparent.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1999; 20 years ago (1999)
Focus cities
Fleet size12
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
Key peopleEvgeny Klyucharev (CEO)



Old Red Wings Airlines logo 2008-2018
Former Airline 400 Tupolev Tu-154
Former Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204-100

Red Wings was founded in 1999 under the name VARZ-400, after the Russian acronym of the Vnukovo Avia Repair Factory. It was renamed Airlines 400 in 2001, before adopting its current name in 2007.

The airline was owned by Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev, who wanted to create a discount airline using modern Russian Tupolev Tu-204-100B 210-passenger twin-jet airliners, both newly-built and used. The company had a fleet of ten Tu-204-100Bs (an eleventh Tu-204 was written off after crashing at Vnukovo International Airport on 29 December 2012), and had also sought to acquire Airbus A320s and possibly Airbus A321s to complement its Tu-204 fleet.[2]

Lebedev also owned 49% of German charter airline Blue Wings, which was to become Red Wings's sister company. However, on 13 January 2010, Blue Wings ceased all operations and filed for bankruptcy, citing the global financial crisis for a pull-out of investors.[3]

After the December 2012 Red Wings Flight 9268 crash in Vnukovo, Russian aviation authorities initiated an emergency check of airline operational activities and fleet maintenance, resulting in the revocation of the carrier's AOC effective on 4 February 2013. The airline had ceased all operations the day before and owner Alexander Lebedev announced that no return to operation was planned.[4][5]

On 4 April 2013, NRC sold Red Wings Airlines Group "Guta" for a symbolic one ruble (in this case, leased aircraft remained with the lessor NRC-owned company "Ilyushin Finance"). The new owners of Red Wings plan to increase the fleet of 10–15 aircraft. The airline was going to buy just Russian aircraft. On 25 April 2013, it was announced that the airline Red Wings was going to be headed by Sergey Belov—the previous CEO of the airline "Russia". On 18 June 2013, the Federal Air Transport Agency renewed the certificate of the operator Red Wings to perform commercial transportation of passengers and cargo. On 22 June, the airline resumed charter flights. On 12 July, the airline resumed scheduled flights from Moscow.

To increase business power, Red Wings and Nordavia decided to merge. The process already began, alas the date when the airlines will fully merged, and will they be separate or work under one airline, is still a question. This plan calls for the Airbus A320, which initially was ordered for Nordavia, to be delivered by Red Wings. The new brand name will be known, after finishing the merger procedure.[6]

On 20 September 2018, it was announced that Red Wings will re-brand. The first aircraft to arrive with the updated livery, will be Airbus A321 and it will arrive by the end of 2018.[7]


Codeshare agreementsEdit

Currently Red Wings Airlines has only one codeshare agreement


Red Wings Airlines Airbus A321 wearing a new livery
Red Wings Airlines Airbus A320

The Red Wings fleet comprises the following aircraft as of August 2017:[9][10]

Red Wings Airlines fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A320-200 4 180 180
Airbus A321-200 8 220 220
Irkut MC-21-300 16[11][12] TBA Delivery starts from 2019
Total 12 16

Red Wings was supposed to be the launch customer for the Airbus A220-300 in Russia; however, in March 2019, the airline scrapped plans to operate the type in favour of the Irkut MC-21.[citation needed]

Retired FleetEdit

Incidents and accidentsEdit

  • On 29 December 2012 at 16:35 local time (12:35 GMT), Red Wings Airlines Flight 9268, a Tupolev TU-204-100В (Registration: RA-64047, c/n: 1450743164047, s/n: 047, built: 2008) crashed on landing after overrunning runway 19 at Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) following a non-revenue repositioning flight originating from Pardubice Airport, Czech Republic. The aircraft broke up and came to a stop on elevated highway M3 about 400 meters/1,200 feet past the runway’s end. There were eight crew members on board of whom five were killed and the other three seriously injured.[13][14] The fatal Vnukovo accident was the second runway overrun incident involving a Red Wings operated TU-204-100B in nine days following a Moscow Vnukovo to Novosibirsk flight on 20 December 2012 that overran runway 25 at Tolmachevo Airport by 1,150 feet (350 meters) into an open field.[15] Initial flight data recorder readouts indicate that brake failure as well as engine thrust reverser issues were major contributing causes in both overruns resulting in the issuance of additional airworthiness directives.[16][17][18][19] Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) later determined that, as in the precursor non-fatal overrun incident in Novosibirsk, the fatal Moscow accident was caused by a failure of the compression switches in two of the three landing gear assemblies to close on touchdown thus causing the engine thrust reverser shells to fail to deploy.[20]
  • On 22 August 2018, one of the Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines of a Red Wings Tu-204 operating flight WZ808 from Ufa to Sochi experienced an engine surge during takeoff from Ufa International Airport and subsequently caught on fire. The crew did not receive any fire indications, the automatic fire suppression system did not work, and the manual fire suppression failed to fully extinguish the flames. Emergency services put out the fire after landing while the passengers were evacuated through the right hand emergency doors via slides. There were no injuries. A Rosaviatsia (Russia's Civil Aviation Authority) commission has been set up to investigate the occurrence.[21]


  1. ^ Marie-Pierre Balcaen, EUROCONTROL DAP/DIA. "Eurocontrol, Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Red Wings considers A321s as suitable A320s prove elusive", Flight International, Retrieved 24 August 2008
  3. ^ "Blue Wings stellt Flugbetrieb ein" (in German). Flugrevue. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  4. ^ "ВЕДОМОСТИ - Росавиация приостановила действие сертификата эксплуатанта Red Wings". Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  5. ^ " Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine"
  6. ^ "Авиакомпании Red Wings и "Нордавиа" объединятся". 16 October 2017.
  7. ^ "ФОТО: Red Wings представила два варианта обновленной ливреи". 20 September 2018.
  8. ^ Liu, Jim (10 May 2019). "Red Wings expands Nordavia codeshares in S19". Routesonline. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part Two)". Airliner World (November 2017): 30.
  10. ^ "Russia's Red Wings ends Tu-214 operations".
  11. ^ "MAKS: Red Wings signs for Russian jets and Q400s". 30 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Irkut MC-21 gets new orders at MAKS Air Show". 18 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  13. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 204-100V RA-64047 Moskva-Vnukovo Airport (VKO)". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  14. ^ Agencies (29 December 2012). "Russian passenger jet crashes at Moscow's Vnukovo airport". Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  15. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident 20-DEC-2012 Tupolev Tu-204-100V RA-64049". 20 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ Hradecky, Simon "Accident: Red Wings T204 at Moscow on Dec 29th 2012, overran runway on landing" The Aviation Herald, 29 December 2012. (updated 31 December 2012).
  17. ^ Hradecky, Simon "Incident: Red Wings T204 at Novosibirsk on Dec 20th 2012, runway excursion on landing" The Aviation Herald 20 December 2012 (updated 30 December 2012)
  18. ^ Bad brakes cited in Moscow crash landing Agence France-Presse (via 30 December 2012
  19. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David "Tu-204 directive warns pilots to check thrust-reverse status", 2 January 2013
  20. ^ "Tu-204 Red Wings crash in Vnukovo was caused by reverse failure - Interstate Aviation Committee" Russia Beyond the Headlines ( 24 January 2013
  21. ^ "Incident: Red Wings T204 at Ufa on Aug 22nd 2018, engine fire". Retrieved 27 March 2019.

External linksEdit