Russia’s last civil Tu-154 performs final flight

The end of an era as the country’s last commercially operated Tu-154 conducts its final flight

Russia’s last civil Tupolev Tu-154 flew its final passenger flight yesterday (Oct 28), with a service between the Far Eastern town of Mirny and Novosibirsk in Western Siberia.

The 28-year-old trijet, RA-85757 (c/n 92A939) was operated by Mirny-based Alrosa a subsidiary of a diamond mining company bearing the same name.

The Tupolev Tu-154 followed a similar confirguration to that of the Boeing 727. Wikimedia Commons/Pedro Aragão

In a statement, Alrosa said: “We are saddened to announce the end of operations of the only remaining Tu-154 aircraft in Russia’s civil aviation.

“A whole era of national aircraft construction is ending with this legendary aircraft,” the statement added.

Current colours
In its later years, the jet wore the company's signature diamond-themed livery. Wikimedia Commons/Papa Dos

The type is believed to have been operated by the carrier since June 24, 2002, and “remains one of the most reliable and fastest” in its fleet.

Capable of operating from unpaved and gravel strips with only basic facilities, the Tu-154 was used extensively in the extreme Arctic conditions found in northern and eastern regions of Russia.

With specifications similar to the Boeing 727, the Russian example first flew on October 4, 1968, more than five years after its American counterpart. Over 1,000 examples were built during a production run that spanned from 1968 until 2013.

The jet is powered by three Soloviev D-30KU-154 turbofans. Wikimedia Commons/Dmitry Terekhov

Yesterday’s final service – which carried 140 passengers – was operated by four experienced crew members including two pilots, a flight engineer, and a navigator.

The airframe is expected to remain at Tolmachevo Airport in Novosibirsk until a decision can be made about its future.