Saratov Airlines (6W, Saratov Tsentralny) is close to finalizing an agreement for the lease of four An-148-100Bs formerly in service with Rossiya (FV, St. Petersburg) Russia's Aviation Explorer news has reported.

According to officials at lessor, Ilyushin Finance, official confirmation will only be given once all the relevant documents have been signed. As such, given the circumstances, it is expected the Antonov Design Bureau twinjets may return to service in autumn of this year.

A former Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) subsidiary, Saratov Airlines operates two E195s and seven Yak-40Ds on regular as well as chartered passenger flights in Russia.