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.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
This past August saw the seventh run of the Moscow Aviation and Space Exposition (MAKS). For several years each successive show has been bigger and better than the previous one, and this year’s event didn’t deviate from the trend.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Asia/Pacific regional director Anatoly Mezhevov confirmed here yesterday that Canada’s Bombardier had asked his company to join the now-shelved C Series project, but that Sukhoi declined.
RusAero has become established as a leading source for civil aviation support services in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, handling or facilitating movements mainly from abroad.
Cuba’s flagcarrier Cubana de Aviacion and domestic operator AeroCaribbean are seeking between 20 and 30 regional airliners that it wants to introduce beginning in 2008. It is considering the following twin turboprops: Ukraine’s Antonov An-148, the Russian Ilyushin Il-114, the French-Italian ATR 42/72 family, the Canadian Bombardier Dash-8Q Series and China’s Y-7/MA-60.
EADS has teamed with Russia’s NPK Irkut and RSK MiG in a joint venture to convert Airbus A320 airliners into freighters. The new business–owned 50/50 between the European group and the Russian firms– is expected to generate $200 million in sales annually, based on around 20 A320F conversions. If successful, the partners will later undertake conversions of the larger A330 family.
Progress on the Sukhoi Superjet 100 continues uninterrupted, despite the U.S. State Department’s inclusion of the airplane’s Russian manufacturer among seven companies sanctioned for violating the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000.
Sukhoi would have loved to announce an RRJ launch order from Aeroflot last month out from under the shadow of intrigue that seems to hang over every Russian aerospace project. But as so often happens in Russia, internal conflicts have a way of rising to the surface at the most inopportune moments.
Superjet 100–Plans for the airplane known until July as the Russian Regional Jet appeared to have crystallized early this year, when Sukhoi published a schedule that calls for final assembly of the first prototype in November, completion of the static-test aircraft in December, first flight in September of next year and Russian certification in October 2008.
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