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ST. PETERSBURG, June 1. /TASS/. The construction of the MC-21 airline is Russia’s first step in the global commercial aircraft market, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said today during a business dialogue dubbed: "Russia - Serbia: Prospects for Economic Cooperation."
"I showed to Ivica Dacic [the acting prime minister of Serbia and Serbia’s foreign minister - TASS] our prominent technology breakthroughs, including Russia’s prospects in designing civil aircraft," Rogozin said.
"The MC-21 mainline aircraft made its first flight on May 28. It is a technologically advanced airliner that exceeds the capabilities of its immediate competitors - American and European aircraft."
"However, the construction of this plane is just the first step in the high-technology aircraft market, as the aviation equipment requires much effort to be promoted on both the Russian and foreign markets," Rogozin continued.
As he put it, it is not enough for Russia, as it "does not fulfill our ambitions." "We would like these planes to operate in other countries," Rogozin said. "For this we will need a highly-developed after-sales service system and prompt component deliveries."
The MC-21 short-and medium-haul narrow-body aircraft ("Mainline aircraft of the 21st century") conducted its maiden flight on May 28. Lasting only 30 minutes, the flight from the Irkutsk Aviation Plant airfield in Siberia took the airliner to an altitude of 1,000 meters and a speed of 300 km/hour.
Plans are in store to produce two of the plane’s versions: the MC-21-200, which will carry 132 to 165 passengers, and the MC-21-300, which will carry 163 to 211 passengers.
Currently, Irkut has 286 orders for the MC-21 aircraft. Of this number, final contracts were inked for the delivery of 175 aircraft while contracts for another 110 planes are preliminary agreements.
The first client is Russia’s Aeroflot, which plans to have 50 MC-21s in its fleet. There are foreign customers as well. Crecom Burj Berhad (Malaysia) has ordered 25 MC-21s with 25 options from Irkut. Cairo Aviation (Egypt) has agreed to acquire six MC-21s with options for a further four of the type. Among potential foreign customers are Air Tanzania (Tanzania), as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
According to Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Russia may deliver 1,000 MC-21s until 2037.