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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Firms Aim for 10% of the Market

Itar-TassSukhoi's Pogosyan showing President Vladimir Putin a model of the firm's Superjet plane at MAKS 2007 on Tuesday.
ZHUKOVSKY, Moscow Region -- The country plans to secure at least 10 percent of the world airliner market with new passenger jets that it hopes will lift its aviation industry out of its post-Soviet slump, Igor Shevchuk, the president of plane maker Tupolev, said Wednesday at the MAKS 2007 air show.

"We aspire to 10 percent of the world market," Shevchuk said.

"Our strategic task is to take third place among the world's aircraft-producing countries by 2015 to 2018," said Shevchuk, who is also an executive of giant state-controlled holding United Aviation Corporation.

Shevchuk said Tupolev was developing a midrange passenger plane that would have domestic or foreign-made engines and another wide-bodied passenger plane with a range of 5,000 kilometers, able to carry up to 270 people.

"The preliminary market for such an airline is evaluated by specialists at about 200 planes," he said. He gave no further details about the planes.

Sukhoi's general director, Mikhail Pogosyan, said he would have 100 firm orders for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the best hope for the country's civil aviation industry, by the end of 2007.

"I can guarantee that, by the end of the year, solid contracts with foreign buyers will be signed," he said.

State-run Sukhoi, which like Tupolev is part of the UAC, will deliver more than 50 military planes to the international market, as well as 20 planes to the Air Force, he said.

ItAli, an airline based in the Italian town of Pescara, was the first western firm to order Sukhoi's Superjet 100. It placed an order in June for 10 planes, with an option for 10 more, for $283 million.

Pogosyan did not announce any new orders at a news conference during the air show.

Sukhoi on Tuesday announced a $300 million deal to supply six new fighter jets -- three Su-30 and three Su-27 planes -- to Indonesia, in addition to four fighter jets already delivered.

Pogosyan said he expected this year to take about 100 orders for the Superjet 100, a plane being developed together with U.S. aviation giant Boeing capable of carrying 75 to 95 passengers and due to take to the skies by the end of 2007. Domestic airlines Aeroflot and Air Union are the main buyers to date of the Superjet 100.

Sukhoi and Alenia Aeronautica, a unit of Italian defense group Finmeccanica, which holds a stake of 25 percent plus one share in Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, also announced a joint venture to sell and service the Superjet 100.

Alenia will hold 51 percent of the Venice-based venture, which will be responsible for promoting the midrange jetliner in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia, the two companies said in a statement. Russia will market the craft in the former Soviet Union and the rest of Asia.

Sukhoi has firm orders for 71 of the planes and expects to have 100 by the end of the year, boosting its order book to more than $2 billion.

The Superjet range of planes will compete against models from Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica and Montreal-based Bombardier, the only current makers of jet airliners with fewer than 100 seats.

n Ilyushin Finance agreed to sell aircraft to airlines in Iran and Cuba, Interfax reported from the signing ceremonies at MAKS 2007 on Wednesday.

Iran Air Tour will buy five Tu-204 midrange airliners for delivery starting in 2009 under a contact valued at more than $200 million, the agency reported.

Cuba's Aviaimport signed a memorandum of understanding to buy two Tu-204s and three An-148 regional jets for more than $150 million on behalf of state-owned Cubana De Aviacion, Interfax said. The aircraft will be delivered between 2008 and 2011, Interfax said.

Reuters, Bloomberg