UA735WL wrote:Hi folks,
Bit of a two pronged question, so bear with me
As far as I know, SU and flag carriers of other Eastern Bloc countries operated Soviet airliners quite frequently on various international routes to Western countries. In these instances, did the Soviet types require any sort of special handling when compared to western types of the day?
For example, I'm wondering if a standard underwing pressure fuel nozzle would fit an Il-62 or Tu-154, or if a GPU compatible with a 737 would also work on a Soviet design. For that matter, were they able to burn the same blends of Jet-A as western types?
Logistically speaking, how did these carriers accomplish tasks like unscheduled maintenance? For example: If an Il-62 went tech at JFK, did they have to fly parts and mechanics in from Russia, or did they have contract MX at all their international stations that were trained on Soviet types?
The other part of the question is how many carriers not directly influenced by Moscow operated these airliners? I'm aware of a few:
Aeronica operated a pair of Tu-154M- there are photographs of them at MEX in the database here.
Several smaller Italian carriers operated the Yak-40- does anyone know which ones?
A South American carrier (I believe from Guyana) used a Tu-154 (not sure which variant) into JFK briefly in the 80s/90s (heard as an anecdote on an unrelated thread a while back on here).
Anyone know any more?
Syrianair operated Tu-134s, Tu-154s and Yak-40a well into the 2000s, on both domestic, regional and international flights. (charmingly unrelated anecdote: they were also the 'main' operator on international schedules of the Caravelle, which I think right till the late 80s and early 90s would still venture out to Rome, Athens and Larnaca - alongside the more common Tu-134s/154s and 727s).
Turkish charter outfit Greenair leased and operated a number of Tu-154s in the late 80s.
Ghanaian operator Pan African Airways operated an IL-62M on flights into London Stansted from Banjul in the early 1990s.
Aviogenex of Yugoslavia operated a fairly large number of Tu-134s on intra-European charters -very successfully and also making money with them apparently!- for many years, latterly supplemented by 732s and 722s.
General Air of Germany operated briefly the Yak-40 for domestic flights in the 1970s.
Italy has had several operators of [the same] batch of Yak-40s operating in the '70s and right through the early '90s. As a child I remember seeing the Aertirrena ones at Florence airport. they were nice ante-litteram 'regional' jets with nicely appointed, smart interiors. They were also operated by Avioligure (I believe the first western operator of the type), Alinord (alongside F-28-Mk1000s) and some other more obscure outfits (like AirSettanta), and late in the '90s Italo-Albanian Ada Air.
Let-410s are still operated in Italy by a number of operators who 'offer capacity' to some small second-tier operations, like summer flights to Elba island.
The LET-410 has also been operated by several Venezuelan smaller airlines for many years, mostly on the Caracas-Gran Roque route.
In the '90s (post Yugoslav conflict) Bosna Air of Bosnia operated Yak-42s. I believe the Yak-42 was also used in Macedonia at some point.