The Russian defense ministry awarded United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) a launch order for 39 Il-476 heavy airlifters, also referred to as the Il-76MD-90A. The move is partially designed to convey program assurance to potential customers in China and India. These countries already operate “classic” Il-76s. The new version can transport a 114,500-pound payload over a range of 2,700 nm.
Last year commercial airline Volga-Dnepr had revenues of $1.741 billion and generated a net profit of $59.3 million. At the same time, its debts rose to $186 million and, by the company’s estimates, are expected to increase by a further $250- to $300 million during 2012 as Volga-Dnepr borrows more capital money for its Boeing 747-8F acquisitions.
Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC), Russia’s oldest and largest aircraft leasing company, is planning to procure Western aircraft types to help the vast country’s airlines to meet soaring demand. Airline traffic grew 13.4 percent in 2011 and has continued at a similar pace this year.
Speaking to the Chinese media during his visit to Beijing last October, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia and China have much to gain from jointly developing a widebody airliner. He called for more joint Sino-Russian projects in space and aeronautics, as well as other high-technology spheres, stating that these may produce “huge economic effect for development of both countries.”
While the first-ever appearance of Sukhoi’s T-50 stealth fighter led the list of awe-inspiring spectacles during last week’s Moscow Air Show, the mundane business of commercial transactions made more headlines, as Airbus, Bombardier and local manufacturers busily collected new orders from a growing Russian commercial aviation market. Perhaps the most surprising deal of all involved Moscow-based Transaero, which signed for eight Airbus A320neos.
Six Aeroflot flight instructors have qualified in the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) after undergoing 40 days of training at the manufacturer’s Zhukovsky base near Moscow. These pilots will be flying the Russian carrier’s first SSJ100 to enter revenue service, with initial passenger flights expected later this summer.
Moscow’s JetExpo 2010 show last month provided evidence of strengthening demand for business aviation in the upper reaches of the Russian market. However, it is demand from the Russian government itself, rather than private companies or individuals, that seems to be leading this trend.
EADS expects to sign a firm contract with Aeroflot for 22 of the new Airbus A350XWB airliners here at the Paris Air Show this week, or perhaps at Moscow’s MAKS’2007 event in August. This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the deal in March this year.
Russia’s new airframing consortium OAK has won government approval to continue limited production of widebody airliners. This covers assembly of 15 Ilyushin Il-96s in the 2008 to 2012 time frame, allowing the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) to maintain annual production rates of three aircraft.
Airbus is competing with Russia’s Ilyushin-Finance Co. (IFC) and Tupolev for a Syrian government tender to supply seven airliners to Syrian Air. When Syria issued the tender in February this year, the stated requirement called for four 185- to 225-seat narrowbodies as replacements for six Boeing 727s and three Tupolev Tu-154s, and three 280- to 320-seat widebodies to replace a pair of Boeing 747SPs.