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Aeroflot To Renew Its Fleet With 300+ Russian-made Aircraft
Russian airline Aeroflot, which has most of its capital in the hands of the local government, has again talked about fleet renewal with more than three hundred planes produced in Russia. This time, the information came through a note from the Kremlin, after the meeting of the airline’s general director, Sergei Aleksandrovsky, with President Vladimir Putin, on August 26.
The meeting, mostly political in tone, merely talked more of the same. The goal, however, seems to have been to focus on the «new» variants of the domestic aircraft, which are being produced only with local components as part of an extensive import substitution program.
As reported by Aeroin, Aeroflot said it will renew its fleet in the coming years with 323 aircraft, including 210 of the MC-21 model equipped with domestic PD-14 engines, as well as 73 Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ100) in the so-called «import-substituted» version (SSJ-New) and 40 Tu-214 units.
The average list price of the MC-21 is almost $98 million and the SSJ100 is $36 million. As for the Tu-214 there are no updated figures. Based on all this, and excluding the Tu-214, the package to be ordered by Aeroflot should be at least $23 billion.
“This is a very significant volume, which will force us to attract additional resources,” Aleksandrovsky emphasized. According to the head, the air carrier plans to hire 3,500 more pilots and order eight new flight simulators. He added that Aeroflot’s strategy is already “fully synchronized with the aviation industry development program until 2030.”
In practice, Aeroflot has two ways to finance this plan: either to seek new funds from its main shareholder, the Russian government or to go to the market, the former being the best option in view of the huge uncertainty over the company’s cash flow after Western sanctions hit Russian aviation hard.
Another challenge will be to get manufacturers to ramp up their production rate, of which only a few units per year are produced at present.
(written by Pablo Diaz)
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