Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Norway that Orenburzhye airlines is ready to start flights. Aviation authorities at Tromsø airport, though, haven’t been contacted.
Norway’s Embassy in Moscow has got a letter from Russia’s Foreign Ministry informing that Orenburzhye airlines will start regular passenger flights from Murmansk to Tromsø with seven flights per week
The note points to the 1956 aviation agreement between Norway and the Soviet Union, under which new routes have to be notified.
Information about the new route has, however, not «landed» at Tromsø airport.
«To date we have not received any specific requests for launching such route,» says Advisor Janne A. Raste with Avinor to the Barents Observer. Avinor is the company responsible for Norway’s state-owned airports.
Raste says they only have heard talks about such route.
Orenburzhye airlines have not replied to questions from the Barents Observer about a possible route. In its summer schedules, a Tromsø route is not included.
Last November, Orenburzhie airlines launched flights between Arkhangelsk and Murmansk with a small 17-seats L-410 propeller. The airliner has a fleet of 7 such aircrafts in addition to 28 AN-2 aircrafts and several helicopters. With hub in Orenburg the route network includes destinations in northwest Russia and western Siberia, as well as southern destinations like Kazan and Samara. When launching the route across the White Sea, the Murmansk airport officials said Tromsø was to be included as destination.
If relaunched, the Murmansk-Tromsø route will be the only east-west flight connecting northern Russia with northern Norway.
The route was operated for more than 20 years, but closed down in October 2014 after a troubled dispute with Norwegian aviation authorities on the terms of license for the Pskovavia operated An-24 aircrafts.
In August last year, CEO Vladimir Gorbunov with Arkhangelsk based Nordavia said the company planned to resume flights from Murmansk and Arkhangelsk to Tromsø, as well as a new flight to Finland.
He said reopening of the Tromsø route will be decided «within some few months» and depends on when Nordavia receives the two twin-turboprop ATR 42 planes in order.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Nunavut gears up for increase in Arctic tourism, Radio Canada International
Finland: Finland invites Norway to develop joint Arctic railway project, The Independent Barents Observer
Norway: Longer runway for bigger planes in Kirkenes, northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: New rise in cross-border travel between Russia and Nordic countries, after significant drop, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Poor cockpit communication behind fatal plane crash in Arctic Sweden, Radio Sweden
United States: Former Gov. Murkowski to explore creation of Alaska-Canada rail link, Alaska Dispatch News