Russian Hardware... UTAir Tupolev Tu-154M RA-85057 arriving at Niederrhein Weeze Airport from Moscow Vnukovo, bringing in the soccer team of Anzhi Makhachkala for their match on Thursday Evening (9 August 2012, 8:00pm) against Vitesse Arnhem, 3rd Qualification Round UEFA Europa League - 8 August 2012

UTAir Tupolev Tu-154M RA-85057 arriving at Niederrhein Weeze Airport from Moscow Vnukovo, bringing in the soccer team of Anzhi Makhachkala for their match on Thursday Evening (9 August 2012, 8:00pm) against Vitesse Arnhem. Image by Marc Riedel.

Seeing a Tupolev TU-154 out in the wild is becoming a rare treat. Luckily, UTair still operates two Tu-154Ms, one in a striking blue and red livery.

UTair was founded in 1967 and is based at Khanty-Mansiysk Airport (HMA) in Russia. Originally the airline was part of the Aeroflot family and was renamed TAT after the break up of the USSR. Then, in 2003, the airline was again re-named to UTair.

The airline offers scheduled service to about 70 domestic and international destinations. UTair operates a diverse fleet of over 100 aircraft and 300 helicopters. They are in the process of updating their older aircraft with 20 Airbus A321s, 30 Boeing 737-800s and 24 Sukhoi SUperjet 100s on order.

This is a special livery seen on RA-85057. The livery has been with Samara Airlines and then South East Airlines before remaining with UTair.  UTair’s standard livery is not nearly as colorful and a bit bland, so hopefully they keep the red white and blue flying until retiring the aircraft from their fleet.

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6 Comments
Brian Lusk

I’ve always thought the TU-154 was the best looking of the former Soviet Union airliners. It looks like a “grown up” version of the Dassault Falcon.

… or a B727 that’s been on a diet!
;o)

TU Lover

Great plane with an awesome livery.

I remember flying on one of these from Beijing to Xian. The guide was apologetic since the tour promised only western aircraft. It was a different experience, kind of like flying on a bus. Not only did your seat recline but it also folded flat in the forward direction. That way if you were on an empty flight you could fold it forward and put your feet up.

This plane was painted in this special livery to serve as a VIP-plane for the Samara Region Administration which later leased the plane to South-East Airlines. Nobody knows whether it was further leased or sold to UTair.

The livery is great – it bears the colours of Samara flag (so a bit different stripe order from the Russian flag). But it also had Samara Region coat of arms on the vertical tail amid the white stripe.

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