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UTAir begins regular weekly flights to new airport in the Arctic

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26 March 2015


The new airport will primarily serve as a transport hub for workers of the plant, which will have a capacity for 16.5million tonnes of gas a year. Picture: 21russia.ru

Siberian airline UTAir has started regular weekly flights from Moscow to the new airport at Sabetta in the Arctic.

Using wide-body Boeing 767-200 aircraft, with a capacity of 249 passengers, the carrier will fly every Thursday between Vnukovo and Sabetta International, on the Yamal Peninsula.

The service will mainly benefit workers building the massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, although the airline says they hope to also attract tourists to the northern region.

Andrei Martirosov, the general director of UTAir, said: 'We are proud to participate in the realisation of this important project. It is important not only for the north-western part of Siberia, but also for the entire country.

'The capacity at Sabetta airport to take aircraft of all classes gives a new impetus for the effective exploitation of the natural resources of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District and improves transport accessibility of the region.'

Known as Sabetta International Airport, it is one of the first Russian Arctic airports built from scratch and will help the development of the resource-rich Yamal Peninsula.

Sabetta Airport

Sabetta Airport

Runway in Sabetta International Airport (top). Yamal LNG facilities near Sabetta. Pictures: Novatek

The new airport will primarily serve as a transport hub for workers of the plant, which will have a capacity for 16.5million tonnes of gas a year when production starts in 2017.

However, its geographical location is seen as strategically important to Russia, allowing the movement of passengers and cargo to and from a once-inaccessible region.

Sabetta will also become the new gateway to the Northern Sea Route across the Arctic as Russia gears up for an increase in trade over the roof of the world.

The new international airport will be able to handle about 150,000 passengers this year, increasing to around 300,000 people when the LNG site is fully operational.

Since the beginning of February, it has handled more than 120 flights and 12,000 passengers.

Video of the fist testing landing of passenger aircraft in Sabetta International: 

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