Old Yak-42D considered as an alternative to more modern commercial aircraft in Russia

Russian company proposes leasing the former Soviet three-engine aircraft as a replacement for western jets and the SSJ100

The commercial aviation situation in Russia is increasingly serious due to the sanctions imposed by the West on the maintenance of Boeing and Airbus aircraft and even indigenous ones such as the SSJ100 jet.

With no spare parts, the country’s airlines are either stripping some planes or looking to reactivate old aircraft like the Tu-214, a twin-engine single-aisle that would be returning to serial production.

But even an old Soviet-era trijet, the Yakovlev Yak-42D, is being considered by some carriers, Izvestia, a leading Russian newspaper, revealed last week.

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The company AT-Leasing has 14 aircraft of the model, a long-range version with capacity for up to 120 passengers, and since April it has been trying to negotiate them with some Russian companies.

According to Izvestia, Iraero, Red Wings and the UTair group have even considered the proposals, but so far have resisted reactivating those planes.

Among the reasons is the high operating cost, as the Yak-42D uses three old Lotarev D-36 turbofans (produced in Ukraine) and requires the presence of a flight engineer in the cabin.

In addition, the aircraft does not have maintenance infrastructure in the country, which would force its operators to transport mechanics on board the flights.

Yak-42D main cabin (Gleb Osokin)

The Yak-42D, however, would allow international flights to be operated without risks caused by sanctions as they are aircraft equipped 100% with local components.

“The Yak-42D is a reliable aircraft, has good flight performance, but it is an outdated model, far inferior to the modern SSJ-100 in terms of economic efficiency,” said a spokesperson for Red Wings, who argued that the proposal could be interesting before the summer season.

Russian Boeing 727

Like the Tu-154, the Yak-42 is a three-engine aircraft with a configuration similar to the Boeing 727 and the British Hawker Siddeley Trident. The first flight of the aircraft took place in 1975 and around 185 units were produced until 2003.

The Yak-42 is based on another trijet aircraft, the Yak-40, which was smaller (up to 32 passengers) and used less efficient engines.

Also according to Izvetia, about 20 Yak-42s are in operation in Russia and Kazakhstan, on airlines such as Krasavia and Izhavia.