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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BasEl Front-Runner in German Jet Bid

Having abandoned its bid for Fairchild Dornier as a whole company, Oleg Deripaska's Base Element and its partner, jet fighter manufacturer Irkut Holding, have set their sights on buying the bankrupt German aircraft maker's 70-seat 728 passenger jet.

Eberhard Braun, the court administrator overseeing Fairchild Dornier -- which filed for protection from creditors in April -- said Monday that he and its creditors were preparing to break the company up and sell it in pieces after bids for the enterprise as a whole fell short.

Braun said the Russian consortium has been asked to come up with "a signed contract offer" by the end of the week.

"For us, this is a chance to integrate ourselves in the European aviation industry by revolutionary means," said Irkut deputy general director Valery Bezverkhy.

The Russian Aviation and Space Agency, or Rosaviakosmos, has announced a tender for designing a Russian regional aircraft, promising the victor 3.8 billion rubles ($119 million) in budgetary funds, or 20 percent of the cost of developing the project.

Rosaviakosmos stopped taking applications in November, leaving Sukhoi, Tupolev and Myasischev Design Bureau as the only contenders.

But by gaining a part of Fairchild Dornier, the BasEl/Irkut consortium would easily overtake their competitors in the race to get budget financing for a regional aircraft -- the FD728 is a flying prototype, while all the Russian projects exist only on paper.

BasEl refused to comment on Tuesday.

Braun also said "a signable agreement" had been worked out to sell the company's 32-seat 328 passenger jet business for an undisclosed price to U.S.-based AvCraft Aviation LLC.

(Vedomosti, AP)