Volgavia was founded in 1991 in Volgograd, essentially as a broken Volgograd piece of Aeroflot, and commenced operations in early 1992. Their fleet consisted entirely of ex-Aeroflot aircraft, mainly those stranded at Volgograd Airport. This consisted of a number of Tu-154s, Yak-40s, and several other Tupolev, Ilyushin, Yakovlev and Antonov aircraft. The aircraft were put into operation as soon as the airline could get them, mainly flying regional routes across Russia, from Volgograd to Moscow, St Petersburg and other Russian towns and cities.
Volgavia set itself apart from many other Babyflots by painting many of its aircraft in a striking livery, with an all-red fuselage and blue stripes, reminiscent of the flag of Volgograd. Many of the hundreds of Babyflots spawning around Russia at the same time simply left the Aeroflot livery on the plane, covering over the titles. However, some Volgavia aircraft also wore a "half-finished" livery, with the same blue stripes, but leaving the fuselage white.
Currently, Volgavia is the flag carrier (?) of the Volgograd Oblast, growing to become a rather successful airline. The airline currently operates a fleet of mainly Boeing 737s and Sukhoi Superjets, with one Boeing 757 and two Tupolev Tu-204s acting as flagships, flying across Russia, and to China, and even to certain cities in Europe, such as London and Paris.
Shown below are four aircraft in the historic Volgavia fleet. Two Tu-154s are in the foreground, RA-85649 and RA-85668. RA-85649 is in the standard "full" livery, with the all-red fuselage, while RA-85668 is in the "half-finished" livery. Taxiing behind the 154s is RA-87490, one of the 14 Yakovlev Yak-40s the airline acquired. In the far background, another Tu-154 is seen in flight, as it climbs to cruising altitude. RA-85668, the aircraft on the left, would later crash on landing at Moscow after a loss of control, killing all 77 people on board. The cause of the loss of control was determined to be ice crystals freezing up the rudder mechanism, although no one has been able to prove this as the definite cause.