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Smartavia

The meaning of «smartavia»

Smartavia, formerly known as Nordavia (until March 2019) is a Russian low-cost airline with its head office in Arkhangelsk, Russia.[2] It mainly operates scheduled domestic and regional services. Its main bases are Arkhangelsk Airport, Pulkovo Airport (Saint Petersburg), Moscow Domodedovo Airport.[3] Smartavia is a joint-stock company.

The airline was formed in 1963 as Arkhangelsk United Aviation Squadron (Russian: Архангельский объединенный авиационный отряд) and became AVL Arkhangelsk Airlines (Архангельские воздушные линии) in 1991. In August 2004 Aeroflot acquired 51% of the airline, with the rest being held by Aviainvest. The company was renamed Aeroflot-Nord, becoming Aeroflot's second regional airline.[4] It joined the European Regions Airline Association in December 2006.

Since the contract with Aeroflot ended on 1 December 2009, the airline has operated independently as Nordavia.[5] Because of the bad press the subsidiary received following the Aeroflot Flight 821 disaster, and Russian aviation officials' 15 July 2009 imposition of restrictions (including a ban on international charter tours) on then Aeroflot-Nord flight operations due to insufficient security and bad finances, Aeroflot has distanced itself from Nordavia.[6]

In March 2011, Aeroflot sold the airline to Norilsk Nickel for a reported US$7 million. Kommersant has quoted experts who believe that Norilsk Nickel may merge Nordavia with Taimyr Air Company, which is already owned by the company.[7] On December 1, 2011 Norilsk Nickel reported that Nordavia is to be merged in Taimyr Air Company.[8] Ultimately, due to the Federal Antimonopoly Service having blocked the merge of Nordavia with Taimyr Air Company, Nordavia was ultimately sold to Sergey Kuznetsov, the owner of Red Wings Airlines in March 2016.[9]

To increase business power, Red Wings Airlines and Nordavia decided to merge.[10] In April 2017, under Red Wings' ownership, it was announced that the airline would change its name to SmartAvia from Q3 2017. In addition to the new brand, the airline planned to also introduce a new livery, still in Nordavia's colors (blue, orange, gray) but with a design that moves away from its Aeroflot ancestry.[11] The new branding was planned to debut on the airline's Airbus A320-200 aircraft, however these aircraft were instead delivered to Red Wings after the airline decided to continue using its Boeing 737 aircraft, accepting its first Boeing 737-700 in May 2018, by then still retaining its Nordavia name and brand identity.[12][13]

On 20 March 2019, it was announced that the merging of Nordavia with Red Wings airlines was canceled.[14] Instead, the airline is renamed to Smartavia, as part of re-branding. The airline will operate the aircraft under Nordavia brand until the end of 2019. The first aircraft with Smartavia branded livery arrived in April 2019.[15]

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