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Russia's largest air carrier Aeroflot will soon sign a contract for the delivery of 22 A-350 Airbuses
Russia's largest air carrier Aeroflot will soon sign a contract for the delivery of 22 A-350 Airbuses, the company's head told a news conference Thursday. The first A-350 Airbuses will be supplied only in 2015, which means that "Aeroflot will continue to buy A-330 liners from Airbus until then under a combined contract," Valery Okulov said. He said Aeroflot was planning to buy 10 A-330s in the fourth quarter of 2008, while the airline needed 12 to 15 aircraft. Although Okulov said a contract for the delivery of long-haul Boeing 787 aircraft was "frozen," earlier reports said Boeing had offered its new Dreamliners at a concessionary price of $15-$20 million apiece. Nor has Aeroflot chosen between two global rivals, Boeing and Airbus, for the delivery of new long-haul planes. Meanwhile, the air carrier is planning to buy another 20 SuperJet-100 planes from the Sukhoi aircraft maker, Okulov said, on top of an earlier contract for 30 SuperJet-100 planes. "We are negotiating the transfer of an option on 20 new SuperJet-100 aircraft to a fixed contract, which may be increased later," he said. Sukhoi SuperJet-100 belongs to a series of RRJ (Russian Regional Jet)-type planes, with a seating capacity of 60 to 95, which is being developed by Sukhoi, NPO Saturn, SNECMA and Boeing. The RRJ market is estimated at 5,400-5,600 until 2023, which amounts to around $100 billion. Sukhoi plans to make at least 700 RRJ planes, with the first six planes due later this year. According to forecasts, 35% of RRJ aircraft could be sold to South America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America and 7% to Russia and China. The official also reported that his company was preparing government instructions to set up a Far Eastern airline, which will be its 100% subsidiary and will unite Dalavia, a 100% state-owned air carrier, Vladivostok Avia (51%) and SAT Airlines. "We are speaking about swapping an additional issue of shares, approved at an annual shareholder meeting, for shares of state-owned air carriers, which will be part of the potential subsidiary," Okulov said. The new airline is designed to handle domestic flights. Earlier, the Russian economics ministry proposed that the transport ministry consider the consolidation of Far Eastern airlines before considering the transfer of a state-owned package in the united airline to Aeroflot. Aeroflot was established in 1923 and is Russia's largest air carrier, handling both international and domestic flights. The airline accounts for 39% of the international and 11% of the national air carriage market. The company is also a member of Sky Team, the global air alliance, and has a fleet of 88 aircraft.
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