The UTair Group says it completed the sale of its Azur Air (ZF, Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo) charter unit in September of this year as part of its cost-reduction programme. Though not confirmed by the Russians, Turkey's Anex Tourism Group (ATG) has already acknowledged as the buyer.

UTair says the decision to offload the carrier, then known as Katekavia (ZF, Sharypovo), and its fleet of nine B757-200s was adopted in October last year. UTair had acquired Katekavia in 2013 to allow it access to the Krasnoyarsk passenger and cargo market.

It is uncertain how ATG's investment will be affected by Russia's recent imposition of economic sanctions against Turkey for its shooting down of a Russian fighter jet earlier this month. The sanctions target the Russia-Turkey holiday and charter market in particular.

In October, ATG also acquired UTair's Ukrainian unit UTair-Ukraine (QU, Kyiv Boryspil) which it has renamed Azur Air Ukraine (QU, Kyiv Boryspil). As a charter carrier, the airline is to feed into Anex Tour's regional operations using three B737-800s.

ATG offers flights from Russia and Ukraine to lesiure destinations in Turkey, Egypt, Spain and Thailand. Aside from the B757s, it also operates five B767-300(ER)s.