IrAero (IO, Irkutsk Int'l) will launch charter flights on behalf of Chinese tour operator U-Tour, connecting Liège via St. Petersburg with a number of cities in China, commencing on April 24, 2018, Aviaton24.be has reported.

The Russian carrier will connect the city in Wallonia with Fuzhou, Chengdu, Taiyuan, Wuhan, Nanchang, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Guiyang over the course of the summer. All flights will be operated via St. Petersburg since IrAero does not hold traffic rights to connect cities in the European Union directly to China.

IrAero currently operates a fleet of regional jets exclusively, including three SSJ 100/95Bs, five SSJ 100/95LRs. It will most likely acquire wide-body equipment to serve Liège and has previously been linked to a potential deal to lease some of the ex-VIM B777-200(ER)s.

U-Tour contracted the now-defunct VIM Airlines (NN, Moscow Domodedovo) to operate charters from China toLiège in 2017, while iFly Airlines (I4, Moscow Vnukovo) operated these routes in 2016.