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Russia’s Sakhalin region to purchase planes for direct flights to Kurils

The DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 aircraft can take up to 19 passengers on board

MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. Authorities of Russia’s Far-Eastern insular Sakhalin Region and the national flag-carrying airline Aeroflot plan purchasing five DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 planes for flights to Paramushir and Shikotan two islands of the Kurile chain.

A direct flight will link Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the administrative center of Sakhalin, and Shikotan for the first time in history, while the flights between Paramushir and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the administrative center of the Kamchatka territory, will resume after a break of twenty-five years.

"The Sakhalin authorities and Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, will allocate monies for an increase in the capitalization of the regional airline Aurora that will service the new air routes," the press service of the Sakhalin region government said.

The DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 aircraft can take up to 19 passengers aboard and are design to take off from and land at airfields with short landing strips. The authorities have passed a decision to build airstrips on the two islands. Construction works on Shikotan are expected to begin this summer.

President Vladimir Putin has stressed on quite a number of occasions development of the Far-Eastern areas is one of the national priorities. The government has issued a range of regional planning programs that make special emphasis on improving transport accessibility of different parts of the region.