Airbus Freighter Conversion (AFC), the joint venture established in March 2007 by EADS EFW, Airbus, United Aircraft Corporation and Irkut, yesterday signed a firm contract to convert 30 Airbus A320s and A321s into freighters for Netherlands-based lessor AerCap.
United Aircraft Corporation
Boasting an order book amounting to $4.6 billion, Russia’s Irkut Corporation reported here at Farnborough profits of $165 million on revenues that exceeded $1.3 billion last year. The total is three times more than the net profit it registered in 2006, according to Oleg Demchenko, president of the Irkut Corporation. He also announced that Irkut held a 15 percent share of Russia’s arms exports in 2007.
The backlog of orders for Sukhoi’s Superjet 100 regional airliner passed into three figures yesterday when Russia’s AviaLeasing signed a heads of agreement for 24 of the 95-seat model and options for 16 more. Here at Farnborough today, Sukhoi is expected to announce a breakthrough order from a Western operator.
Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) president Alexey Fedorov yesterday gave details of his plans here for expanding the company’s civil business from 10 percent to 20 percent in 2015, and then to 50 percent in 2025. The MS-21, a 150- to 210-seater, should prove instrumental.
The June 5 signing of a contract for work on Airbus A320 cargo conversion program appears to have restored Russia’s position as a full partner in Europe’s EADS group. The pact could signify repair of relations damaged in 2006 when the German and Russian governments disputed the position of Russian shareholders in EADS.
A day before the opening of last month’s Moscow airshow, Sukhoi, Ilyushin and Boeing signed a series of agreements on the regional jet program proposed in mid-April during Boeing CEO Phil Condit’s visit to Moscow. Dubbed the “Russian Regional Jet” (RRJ), the program is aimed at building a prototype in 2004, certification in 2005 and service entry in 2006 or 2007.
Russia’s Beriev, Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (IAPO) and Klimov and the Ukraine’s Motor-Sich on June 19 signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint development of the Beriev Be-132MK regional turboprop. Expecting to complete a feasibility study this month, the companies hope to launch the project by year-end.
Currently, 30 dedicated Russian business aviation companies operate about 50 business jets, mostly converted Tupolev Tu-134s, Yakovlev Yak-40s and Yak-42s and Antonov An-74s. The Russian fleet of VIP-configured jets, some of which are in service with airlines, includes between 70 and 80 aircraft.
At the end of June, Sukhoi announced the creation of the “new” Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, with the consolidation of a number of design and manufacturing companies, including Moscow-based OKB Sukhogo (the Sukhoi design bureau) and the Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Komsomolsk-na-Amure and Taganrog aircraft plants.
Officials at Sukhoi have revealed next to nothing about the company’s proposed supersonic business jet program over the last 12 months. However, during a joint U.S./Russian roundtable discussion on aviation issues in May, Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan, one of the speakers, said “certain progress” had been achieved during a joint feasibility study with Boeing, not only on the Russian Regional Jet, but also on the SSBJ.