photo by Leonid V. Kroujkov
First off, happy new year! It's been a while since my last post, so here's a short story that might be of interest: Russian carrier Aeroflot retired the Tupolev Tu-134 on Monday, December 31, with a flight from Kaliningrad to Moscow. The 14-strong fleet of 134's will be replaced by Airbus A319s and A320s, as well as the Sukhoi Russian Superjet-100 (starting in late 2008). It's too bad that the Soviet aircraft are being retired, since they provide a nice contrast to the rather boring stream of short-haul Boeings and Airbuses that are so common nowadays. But the Soviet models are rather noisy and polluting (the Tu-134 was banned from flying to Europe since 2002 for this reason). I'm not sure when the rest of the Soviet planes in Aeroflot's fleet will be retired (the Tu-154 is the main model left), but I've heard rumors that it will happen before 2010.