- IATA/ICAO code:
- Airline type:
- Full service carrier
- Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport
- Year of foundation:
- Mikhail Poluboyarinov
- Type of company:
- Creation date :
- Sergei Chemezov
- Head office location:
- Moscow, Russia
- Key product lines:
- CRAIC CR929, Irkut MC-21, Ilyushin Il-86, Ilyushin Il-96, Ilyushin Il-114, Sukhoi Superjet 100, Tupolev Tu-152, tupolev Tu-204
Russia’s reliance on Airbus and Boeing for new planes seems to be a thing of the past. The country’s flag carrier, Aeroflot, has finally confirmed it is turning inward by placing an order for 339 locally built aircraft. The order was signed at the Eastern Economic Forum held from September 5 to 8 in Vladivostok.
Aeroflot chooses new dance partners
According to ch-aviation.com, Aeroflot’s order includes 210 Irkut MC-21-300 and 40 narrow-body Tupolev Tu-214 and 89 Irkut SSJ 100/95-NEW regional jets, a revised version of the upcoming Superjet 100. , all of these aircraft will be in “import substituted” form, meaning that Russian-made systems and components, including engines, will replace any from “unfriendly” countries. The plane will come from state-owned technology company Rostec, whose chief executive, Sergey Chemezov, said:
“Boeing and Airbus planes, which will probably never be delivered to Russia again, will be replaced by Russian-made passenger planes.”
He added that “of the 339 aircraft, almost 300 are new-generation MS-21 and Superjet aircraft. The Tu-214 will become a reliable workhorse for them – this aircraft was previously produced for special customers and made proven. The flagship in the Aeroflot fleet will be the MS-21.” MC-21 and MS-21 refer to the same aircraft, with nomenclature changing in translation.
The other possible minor confusion concerns who actually manufactures the aircraft. Irkut Corporation, part of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), manufactures the MC-21 and SSJ, and United Engine Corporation will build the engines. All of these companies are majority-owned by Rostec, the Russian aerospace and defense conglomerate.
The SSJ-100/95NEW is not yet certified, as its engines were previously manufactured by PowerJet, a Franco-Russian joint venture between Safran and NPO Saturn. This formality will no doubt be taken care of quickly, and the plane will begin to be delivered to Aeroflot in 2023. The new narrow-body MC-21 is also not yet certified, with the first deliveries of six planes planned for 2024. Tu-214 is a variant of the Tu-204, which first flew in 1996 but has undergone various upgrades since then. The Tu-214 is in production and, as Chemezov said, it is designed for special customers, which in Russia’s case means the government and the military. When Aeroflot takes over the first seven in 2024, it will become the first commercial operator of the type. The total order is to be delivered by the end of 2030.
Data from ch-aviation.com shows Aeroflot has a fleet of 305 aircraft, 127 of which are wet-leased. The only Russian-built aircraft in the current fleet are 76 SSJ-100/95Bs, 72 of which are wet-leased. and the other four displayed as inactive. The bulk of Aeroflot’s fleet consists of 130 Airbus A320 family, 47 Boeing B737-800 and 29 B777-300, some of which are also wet leased.
Aeroflot’s 26 Boeing B777-300ERs have an average age of just eight years, so how will the airline maintain them as they age? Photo: Vincenzo Pace I simply fly
Comfortable 777s are the plane of choice
Data shows that Aeroflot owns only 57 planes, with the rest leased, although leasing could be held hostage. To make all this activity happen, the Russian state will subsidize the order, mainly to cover the first production costs of the new types, until Rostec reaches full production.
By the way, Aeroflot is the official carrier of the Eastern Economic Forum, or 2nd International Tiger Forum, as it is also called. In a statement, Aeroflot said it will transport participants to Vladivostok, about 8:40 a.m. flight from Moscow, on “a comfortable Boeing 777-300ER with liveries decorated with the Forum logo”. This comfortable 777 will also have “passenger cabins equipped with specially marked headrests”.
Is this really the beginning of the end for Airbus and Boeing in Russia?