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Workhorse Russian Tu-154 Passenger Jet Flies Into Retirement


An Aeroflot Tu-154 is shown in flight in 1986.

The last Tu-154 passenger jet still in service in Russia has completed its final scheduled commercial flight.

On October 28, the Alrosa airline announced that the aircraft had flown from the Yakutia region city of Mirny to Siberia’s Novosibirsk with 140 passengers on board.

The Tu-154 was developed by the Soviet Tupolev design bureau and was the most widely used midrange passenger aircraft in the Soviet Union.

More than 1,000 of them saw service.

The plane made its maiden flight on October 3, 1968, and was brought into regular commercial use in 1972.

Production of the Tu-154 ended in 2013.

The European Union banned the Tu-154 in 2006 because of its high engine noise and fuel consumption.

North Korea's Air Koryo still has two Tu-154s flying commercial routes.

Although the Tu-154 has a satisfactory safety record considering its heavy use in demanding conditions, it has been involved in some prominent incidents.

A Polish government Tu-154 with President Lech Kaczynski and other officials on board crashed in foggy weather near the Russian city of Smolensk in 2010, killing all 96 people on board.

In December 2016, a Russian military Tu-154 carrying 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble military choir crashed into the Black Sea while en route to Syria, killing all 92 people on board.

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