Ilyushin Finance Company (IFC) has won the approval of its shareholders and governmental bodies for recently signed deals on 50 Irkut МС-21s, 32 Bombardier CSeries and 20 Sukhoi Superjet 100s. “All three programs have been approved,” IFC general manager and co-owner Alexander Roubtsov told AIN.
Touching on the financial package for the CSeries, he said that 85 percent of the required capital would come from Canada’s development bank and the rest from IFC’s own resources. “CDB gives us 12-year credit on good terms,” he said. “We will also be using our own and hired capital to fund the CSeries deal.” Deliveries will commence in the third quarter of 2015 and cover two to three aircraft by year-end, followed by an annual rate of nine to 10 units in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Roubtsov is happy about IFC’s experience with the Antonov An-158100-seat jets placed at Cubana de Aviación. The first airplane was delivered in May, the second is due in July and third in September this year. IFC ordered 20 An-158s from Antonov, with Cubana de Aviación being the first airline to accept this type into revenue service.
The modern An-158, designed and built in the Ukraine, replaced the outdated Yakovlev-42D trijets on domestic services from Havana to Santiago-de-Cuba and Guantanamo. “The Cuban pilots are very happy and so are the passengers,” he said. “Fuel-burn average is 1.8 tons per hour, which is rather good for a hundred-seater. Although there were some technical issues, the airplane shows itself well. The customer is considering turning an option for two more aircraft into a firm order at MAKS 2013.” When the fleet reaches its full strength of five units, Cubana de Aviación plans to place its An-158s in international service.
Another recent achievement for IFC (Chalet A136) is placing two Tupolev Tu-204-100C freighters with Russia’s second-largest airline Transaero. Both machines, for a while sitting without a customer at the VASO plant (in Voronezh, Russia), are now in operation. “The airline, which used to be passenger only, is using these Tu-204-100Cs to make [its] way into the cargo business, and early experience has been rather optimistic,” Roubtsov commented.
The Russian MoD contract for 15 An-14868-seat regional jets placed earlier this month will help the VASO plant gear up production of this promising type. “This is indeed a big development. IFC hopes that we will also benefit from the An-148 production ramp up, as many Russian airlines want us to supply them with such airplanes,” Roubtsov told AIN. With substantial MoD and commercial orders combined, VASO has a firm footing for establishing cost-efficient production, turning this project into a profitable one, which is important for success in the commercial market. Although the MoD order is now the top priority for VASO, IFC says that later this year, it will take a pair of An-148s destined for Angara airline, which already operates three such machines, “before MoD starts to get their airplanes,” he said. IFC holds a framework order for 34 An-148s, nine of which have already been delivered and placed with Rossiya and Angara airlines.
At the Paris Air Show IFC will sign several documents with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and Bombardier regarding the Superjet and CSeries orders, respectively. The Sukhoi agreement will cover main parameters on a contract to be concluded at MAKS 2013 in August.
Touching on the Airbus A350 XWB, Roubtsov calls this airplane “a very interesting, very promising design with many advanced technologies implemented. I do not rule out a situation in which we will be taking such planes from Airbus. It is interesting to us as being very close by technological level to the MC-21 and CSeries already in our order portfolio. All of these three new designs feature superb wings made of composite materials and engines with super-high bypass ratio for better fuel burn. When the time comes to extending our order portfolio, we will consider this fabulous airplane.”
In the short term the IFC team will be focusing on cost and time-efficient materialization of the already finalized deals with Russian, Ukrainian and Canadian manufacturers. “We’ve signed for quite a large number of aircraft. The recent approval for 82 aircraft and the coming one for 20 Superjets is another milestone in growing our business,” Roubtsov concluded.