The Superjet 100, the first civilian aircraft developed in Russia since the fall of the USSR, has garnered a series of contracts at the first day of the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS). MAKS illustrates the Kremlin's willingness to revive the sector vis-à-vis the major international manufacturers.
The Kremlin has set a target to increase aircraft sales to USD 250 billion (EUR 187 billion) by 2025.
A goal that is difficult to achieve according to analysts, especially as the Superjet 100, the new flagship of the sector is struggling to recover from delays in its development and the crash that occurred last year in a test flight in Indonesia as a result of pilot error.
"To promote the Superjet 100 abroad, we will implement a series of measures to support exporters," said Dmitri Medvedev, according to comments quoted by the agency “Interfax”.
He attended the show in a flight on board of the Superjet 100, an aircraft with 100 seats manufactured by Soukhoï group.
Soukhoï group has signed contracts with the hire company Ilyushin Finance (IFC) for 20 aircrafts, including 15 for customers in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The manufacturer has also signed an order for six aeroplanes of this type with the Russian company UTair Aviation and the leasing subsidiary of the state-owned bank VEB.
RUSSIA, A PROMISING MARKET FOR AIRBUS AND BOEING
To promote the sale of the Superjet 100 in foreign markets, where it will compete primarily with Bombardier and Embraer aircrafts, Sukhoi has an agreement with the leasing subsidiary of the state-owned bank Sberbank.
Russia has also launched the development of MS-21, a 150-seat aircraft designed to compete with models from Airbus and Boeing. Its manufacturer, Irkut group, has signed agreements with VEB Leasing and IFC for a total of 52 aeroplanes
For their part, major industries like Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier expect an increase in aircraft orders in the Russian market due to ageing aircrafts in operation and rise in passenger volumes.
"The three main alternative markets in the world are the United States, Europe and Russia, where many old aircrafts must be turned off to be replaced by more efficient aircrafts," said Mike Barnett, Director of Marketing at the commercial department of Boeing at a press conference held on Monday.
Airbus, which on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement with the Russian industry and defence group Rostec, considers that Russia should rank sixth in the world in terms of requests for passenger aircrafts over the period 2012-2031, according to its website.